05/14/2012 12:08 pm ET

Lincoln Tomb's Stolen Sword Returned After Sculptor's Reconstruction (VIDEO)

After police were able to trace the recent damage of Abraham Lincoln's Springfield tomb to teenage hijinks, a Chicago sculptor's careful efforts will restore the statue to its former glory.

A statue that stands at the former president's burial site was thought to have been pillaged by copper thieves when a 3-foot-long sword went missing from a figure of a Civil War artillery officer last fall.

But a month after officials noticed the damage, a 16-year-old boy confessed that he had broken the sword while climbing the statue months earlier -- and subsequently hid the pieces in a panic. The broken sword was returned to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, who said they'd received offers from local businesses to replace it.

Chicago sculptor Marshall Svendsen was chosen by the agency to replicate the original sword, which was made of copper from Civil War cannons, according to NBC. For maximum accuracy, Svendsen used the broken pieces to make silicone molds and recast the copper accent piece.

With the help of his company, True Form Productions, Svendsen says the remake took about forty hours to complete, mostly spent applying a sulfur and water mix and heat to oxidize the bronze properly, according to the State Journal-Register. Svendsen told the newspaper the project was "a great experience," and added that he took the task of reconstructing such an historical landmark very seriously.