Bob Moore Chopper 4 helps the state with preservation of the Guardian

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Chances are you've seen it from afar, but have you ever seen the Guardian sculpture like this?

This 17-foot tall statue stands hundreds of feet above the ground.

A symbol of protection for the state.

Today, the state is protecting it with the help of Bob Moore Chopper 4.

"It's very cost prohibitive to get scaffolding to get up to the Guardian and for a specialist to get up there and get their eyes really close to their piece, so this is going to save the state thousands upon thousands of dollars to help us to intervene," said executive director at the Oklahoma Arts Council Amber Sharples.

It's been 14 years since eyes were able to get a glimpse this close when it was put in place in 2002.

It’s a much-needed checkup.

"See if there's corrosion, unevenness of the sculpture, discoloration, if there's any rust. See if there's any birds nesting on the Guardian and anything that could affect the overall condition of the piece," Sharples said.

The Oklahoma Arts Council said it would cost around $40,000 to put scaffolding up and get someone up there.

They also checked into using drones, but there was a lot of red tape to go through with the FAA.

This just seemed like the perfect fit.

"We have that capability of doing that, and it was really kind of a no-brainer. We want to help out the state of Oklahoma," said Wes Milbourn, general manager at KFOR-TV.

"We'll be able to get a couple of hundred feet from it but, with the lens, it will appear we're right on top of it,” said Bob Moore Chopper 4 Pilot Jon Welsh.

You can see time has taken its toll on this bronze work of art.

In the end, discoloration, pitting on the base and a lot of bird waste that will create corrosion over time.

Now, a conservator will decide what comes next for this piece of Oklahoma history.

"It's a local artist. It has a local touch. It has a local meaning. It tells who we are, and so we want to preserve it, because it distinguishes our state capitol from others," Sharples said.

After the video goes to the conservator for further review, they will decide the next steps.

Originally, it wasn’t expected to be brought down for restoration for 100 years, but time and the elements have aged it quicker than expected.

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