In other words, they veiled it for a ceremonial unveiling.
The reason they performed this superfluous ritual is because the statue was erected long ago without a formal dedication ceremony.
They were "correcting" the "omission" of a public dedication many decades after the fact.
It's worth noting that
Most individuals with OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] recognize at some point that their obsessions are coming from within their own minds and are not just excessive worries about real problems, and that the compulsions they perform are excessive or unreasonable. When someone with OCD does not recognize that their beliefs and actions are unreasonable, this is called OCD with poor insightOCD with poor insight - seems a useful idea in this context.