Cleveland nonprofit organization repairing football pads worn by - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland nonprofit organization repairing football pads worn by Paul Brown

ICA is the first and longest-running nonprofit of its kind in the United States, serving as a model for later art restoration work. (Source WOIO) ICA is the first and longest-running nonprofit of its kind in the United States, serving as a model for later art restoration work. (Source WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A Cleveland nonprofit organization is repairing football pads worn by Paul Brown.

The Intermuseum Conservation Association has been repairing different pieces of art for more than 50 years.

The art restoration nonprofit counts several notable landmarks and works among their recent projects, including the "Free" stamp sculpture in downtown Cleveland.

"Conservation services are not very common, and for a lot of institutions in the area, they can't afford to have their own laboratories, and so the ICA is a good resource for people in the entire region. We work all over the country," ICA Executive Director Julie Reilly said.

The organization is restoring the pads worn by Cleveland Browns co-founder and coach Paul Brown, the ones he wore while playing high school and college football.

"I will always say I think I have the greatest job. A lot of people get to look at these, but I get to touch them," conservator Claire Curran said.

ICA has also restored objects and property owned by Harry Houdini.

The organization has also restored property belonging to NASA.

"From institutions and corporate collectors to people like you, who may bring in important family heirlooms that they want preserved for the next generation," Reilly said.

Founded in the 1950s, ICA is the first and longest-running nonprofit of its kind in the United States, serving as a model for later art restoration work.

From their offices on Detroit Avenue, they field thousands of phone call inquiries and complete around 350 projects a year.

The work can be challenging, conservators say, especially when it comes to historic works by specific artists. They insist it’s not a deterrent.

"A lot of it is about research, determining how that artists hand was, how they worked, and then just recreating that," Curran said. "It's a difficult balance, but it's a lot of fun."

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