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Will Mary Tyler Moore be back on Nicollet Mall? It's a toss up

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The $50 million face-lift of Minneapolis' Nicollet Mall is bringing lots of changes to downtown's pedestrian thoroughfare.

The construction work that started this summer is causing some to stay away from the area – even one of the mall's most famous denizens, who seemed pretty anchored there.

The bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore is in exile, having headed into storage to wait out the two-year renovation.

And while the statue's owners plan to return Mary to her perch once the mall's re-do is complete, the Business Journal reports there are no guarantees that a certain tam-tossing sitcom star will fit into the artistic concept of Nicollet's redesign.

An executive with the Minneapolis Downtown Council, which is overseeing Nicollet Mall's transformation, tells the Business Journal there will have to be some negotiations with the statue's owners about whether there'll be a place for Mary when the work is complete in 2017.

The statue is owned by TV Land, a network that has shown the Mary Tyler Moore Show in reruns over the years. A spokesman for the IDS Center told the Business Journal TV Land showed no interest in relocating Mary's statue to the IDS Crystal Court, which – like Nicollet Mall – was featured in the show's opening.

Why have a statue?

Minneapolis and Mary Tyler Moore are linked in the minds of many fans of the Emmy-winning comedy of the 1970s.

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Decades after its last episode, the show is still hailed for reinventing the sitcom and creating trailblazing opportunities for female writers.

The scarcity of television shows set in Minnesota likely fuels some local pride in Moore and her show.

But even before the statue was unveiled in 2001, there were critics.

Some considered it self-serving for the TV network showing it in reruns to memorialize the show. Others listed real-life Minnesotans they thought were more deserving of a statue.

We'll have to wait for a future episode of this drama to learn whether Mary really does return to her spot in front of Dayto – sorry, Macy's. And lots of tourists (even a few locals) will have to find other locales to snap selfies unless or until the statue comes back.

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