The restored golden eagle is placed on the dome in Rio de Janeiro.

The restored golden eagle is placed on the dome in Rio de Janeiro.

Carvalhão - Transportes Carvalho, a crane services company that has been operating in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for 49 years, has helped restore the Águia Dourada, which means the "golden eagle," atop the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.

The theatre was completed in 1909 and was inspired by the Paris Opera, designed by Charles Garnier.

The sculpture weighs 350 kg and is 4 metres tall and 6 metres wide, from one wing tip to the other, according to Míriam Carvalho, director of Carvalhão - Transportes Carvalho.

The eagle was taken down in April 2009 for restoration of the centenary portion of the theatre as well as other modernisation of the building.

Transportes Carvalho used its 160 tonne capacity Terex Demag AC 160/2 all terrain mobile crane with its boom fully extended plus jib to take the eagle down for restoration. Unsure of the durability of the eagle and its condition after 100 years on top of the building, riggers took special care, using extra slings and netting to lift the golden bird to the ground.

The restoration was achieved on site. When complete, Carvalho's crews delicately balanced the eagle in a single sling, which was secured over the back of the central metal structure. Once the sculpture was near its resting place at the top of the dome, engineers and an additional rigger secured it into place.

The work was completed on a Sunday morning when traffic was minimal.

During the restoration process the eagle was covered with more than 8,000 sheets of 24 carat gold. The company that did the restoration work was the same company that restored the golden elements on the Statue of Liberty in New York City, USA according to the company.

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