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Cherub returns to Indianapolis to guard holiday shoppers

INDIANAPOLIS — A downtown Indianapolis holiday icon has returned to its perch. A bronze cherub sculpture is back above a clock mounted outside the former L.S. Ayres department store at Washington and Meridian Streets.

Tradition holds that the 3-foot-tall cherub guards shoppers through the holidays. The tradition began on Thanksgiving eve 65 years ago.

The cherub first appears in an Ayres catalog in 1946. The following year, to mark the company's 75th anniversary, the statue was sculpted by David Rubins, an instructor at the Herron School of Art, and placed atop the clock.

In the early nineties, the cherub did not appear downtown after the May Department Store Co. purchased Ayres and moved the cherub to its headquarters in St. Louis. It returned to Indianapolis in 1994.