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'Shark Girl' goes on spring break, the sequel

People love "Shark Girl." Maybe a little too much.

They love her so much, in fact, that the toothy face of the New Buffalo has lost a bit of its sheen and needs to a month off for some much-needed R&R -- that is, restoration and reinforcement.

Casey Riordan Millard's sculpture, which headed away for a short time last year for light repair work, will be reeled in by Albright-Knox Art Gallery staffers March 25 and transported to an undisclosed space for some cosmetic touch-ups and "structural enhancements."

"Our girl is going for conservation. She's been very loved," said Albright-Knox Director of Communications Maria Morreale.

Morreale added that while no major structural damage to the sculpture had occurred, the gallery is making the major reinforcements as a proactive measure against what is expected to be continued adulation from her legions of fans.

Jade Mendyk hugs Shark Girl at Canalside. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Jade Mendyk hugs Shark Girl at Canalside. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

The sculpture's last hiatus and move from the frozen edge of the Canalside boardwalk to a new perch beside the newly constructed canals drew TMZ-level interest from admirers last year, who greeted her return with a renewed fervor normally reserved for papal visits and new Ted's Hot Dog locations. Buffalo Instagram has never been the same.

Her return, longer than last time because of the structural work required, is slated for April 22.


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