After a year away, the Swordfish Harpooner will soon be presiding over Menemsha Harbor once again. Commissioned by the town and created by Jay Lagemann for Chilmark’s tricentennial in 1994, the concrete sculpture pays homage to the fishing industry. But after two decades of exposure to the elements, it had begun to deteriorate.

Mr. Lagemann cut the 17-foot-tall sculpture down in December 2015 to have it recast in bronze. The sculpture then traveled to ART Research Enterprises, a foundry in Lancaster, Pa., for the recasting. About 12 bronze pieces were welded together, which at first yielded a Frankenstein’s monster-like creature, Mr. Lagemann said. After a few more steps, the much-loved sculpture was revealed, shining anew.

“They did a great job,” Mr. Lagemann said of the recasting team. “You can see why for art pieces they do it out of bronze instead of cement.”

The sculpture will still have the texture of weathered concrete.

Sculpture is so large, sword will need to removed for traveling back to the Island. — Courtesy Jay Lagemann

“I did slashing on it to give texture and reflect the light,” he said. “It came out beautifully.”

The sculpture encapsulates the drama of the hunt and celebrates the long history of fishing on the Island and in the Menemsha Harbor specifically.

“I grew up worshipping the fishermen in Menemsha,” Mr. Lagemann said. For much of his youth he spent time trawling the Menemsha Harbor begging swordfishermen to relinquish the swords from their catches to him.

Though now in one piece, the sculpture will have to travel without its sword.

“The finished piece with the base and everything, there’s no way we could figure out how to get it on the road and not be too tall,” Mr. Lagemann said. “We’re going to have to cut off the sword and re-weld it down in Menemsha. Everything is an adventure.”

With the work complete, a few bureaucratic steps still stand in the way of the return of the Swordfish Harpooner. Mr. Lagemann meets with the town conservation commission on Jan. 18. to ensure that all the proper permits are taken care of. If all goes according to plan, Mr. Lagemann predicts the return of the harpooner and his fish in the next couple of months.

“The simplest thing can get very complicated,” he noted. When the statue was first created they did not need any permits, he said.

Meanwhile, the harpooner and the swordfish wait patiently off-Island until their return home.