Salsa Man is back on the streets of Dodge City.

On Thursday, city crews erected the Dennis Hopper statue to its new home on 3rd Avenue and Vine Street next to SMH Consultants and Dodge City Brewing.

"Originally, the Carnegie Center for the Arts considered this location for the giant Hopper statue," special projects coordinator Melissa McCoy said. "However, that project was unable to come to fruition.

"Then, after some time in storage Salsa Man was placed behind Cup of Jones Coffee Shop on Wyatt Earp Boulevard as a temporary location.

"SMH Engineering became familiar with the statue when it was at this location and became interested in creating a small art park on their property just north of their office building.

"They approached the Carnegie about placing the statue there and the board of directors agreed. SMH also approached the city about placing the Stan Herd murals that are owned by the city there as well and the city agreed.

"When it came time to move the statue it became evident that repairs were needed and the Carnegie contracted with Inga Ojala, an artist specializing in fiberglass work to do the repairs which are now complete."

Salsa Man is owned by the Dodge City Area Arts Council and has a similar statue called Mobil Man that has been set up in Haskell County.

Crews from public works and parks and recreation along with Victory Electric moved and erected the statue.

"The statue was donated to the Dodge City Area Arts Council by the Dennis Hopper Art Trust," McCoy said. "A story board sign will be placed at the statue to explain the story of Salsa Man and the other Hopper statue Mobil Man that is located in Haskell County.

"The tray that he holds was made of foam and would retain water if it rained so that was redone along with drainage placed into his hat."

Summer Bates with Carnegie Center for the Arts added, "I would like to do an official unfailing and this will be discussed next Tuesday at our board meeting."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com