October 1, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A campaign is underway to place a statue of late film critic Roger Ebert in front of a theater in central Illinois that hosted his namesake film festival.
Organizers in Champaign are running the Roger Ebert Sculpture fundraiser. They hope to raise $125,000 to build a life-size bronze sculpture of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Sun-Times film critic in front of the Virginia Theater. The theater hosts Ebertfest each year. Ebert is from neighboring Urbana and went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
The statue will show Ebert sitting in movie theater chairs and giving his signature "thumbs up." His widow, Chaz Ebert, is working with an artist on the design.
Ebert died in April in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.
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