The four equestrian statues on the Lincoln Memorial circle are being incraclacked--but don't let that cause you distress. Incraclac is an acrylic lacquer used on bronze to inhibit corrosion and preserve works of art.

Scaffolding has been erected around two of the massive statues, one on an approach to Memorial Bridge and the other at an entry from the circle to Rock Creek Parkway, to permit work to proceed. In about two weeks, with work on two statues done, the scaffolding will be shifted to the other two statues and they will get a coating.

The statue groups are paired: the Arts of War, sculpted by Leo Friedlander, border the bridge, and the Arts of Peace, sculpted by James Earle Fraser, border the parkway entry.

The four statues were commissioned by the federal government in 1925 but were not undertaken until after World War II. In 1949, the Italian government agreed to cast the statues as a gift to this nation. They arrived here in 1951.

By the late 1960s, many of us will remember, the statues showed signs of deterioration. So in 1972 they were gold-plated and given their first protective coating of incralac, giving them about 10 years of protection.

National Capital Parks, which maintains the statues, said one sidewalk on the bridge and one on the parkway will be maintained throughout the month-long project.