Sculptor jay Lagemann supervised installation. — Steve Myrick

The swordfish harpooner is back in his familiar stance in the dunes behind Menemsha Beach. Sculptor Jay Lagemann oversaw the reinstallation of the iconic work of art Thursday morning, following a 13-month absence.

Commissioned by the town of Chilmark for its tricentennial in 1994, the original sculpture was created on the spot out of iron bars and cement. It had deteriorated with age, however, and a new sculpture of bronze and stainless steel was cast in a Pennsylvania foundry over the winter. The statue was trucked to the Island this week.

On Thursday the installation went as smoothly as planned, and as delicately as is possible for a 1,600-pound piece of bronze hanging from the bucket of an excavator anchored in soft sand. Crew members first lifted the sculpture off a small trailer and laid it on the sand dunes. Then, with a sling snugly under the harpooner’s arms, they lifted the piece high in the air and swung it over its base.

Originally commissioned for Chilmark's tricentennial in 1994, the sculpture had deteriorated and had a makeover this winter. — Timothy Carroll

“I think we got it, guys,” said Mr. Lagemann as the sculpture settled onto four 3/4-inch bolts embedded into the concrete base. A few more tweaks to get it perfectly level, and the harpooner was home. All that was left was a maneuver to lift a volunteer in the excavator bucket high enough to unhook the sling.

“This is to honor all the fishermen,” he said. “Menemsha is our connection to the ocean.”

A small crowd turned out to watch the show. Mr. Lagemann said he was pleased with the operation and happy the sculpture was back in place, within site of the spot where he began pot fishing more than 40 years ago.