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Philly Welcomes Back Famed 'LOVE' Statue with Parade

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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The city of Philadelphia is celebrating love this week, and it’s not just because of Valentine’s Day.

On Tuesday (Feb. 13) the city’s iconic Robert Indiana “LOVE” sculpture, created in 1976, returned to its home in Love Park after undergoing renovations and maintenance.

The Reno

The 830-pound aluminum sculpture underwent a $55,000, year-long restoration project that included changing up the paint color. “LOVE” has been restored twice previously—in 1988 and ’98—with the colors red, green and blue. However, during this restoration, representatives of Indiana came forward with records showing the parts that had been blue for decades were actually supposed to be purple.

Now, Philly’s “LOVE” is the only iteration (there are several throughout the country) to have purple color.

The restoration was carried out by Philadelphia-based Materials Conservation LLC, which worked with Amaral Custom Fabrications, of Rhode Island, to mechanically remove the layers of paint currently on the aluminum sculpture and repair any damage to the aluminum itself.

“The sculpture will be spray primed with a chromate bearing anticorrosion epoxy primer to the manufacturer’s specifications,” Margo Berg, the site's public art director, explained in an email to Durability + Design News at the time. “Amaral will then spray-paint the sculpture with a high-solids epoxy paint followed by a high-performance polyester polyurethane coating, both applied to the manufacturer’s specifications.”

In addition to the restoration, the update also included a new $12,000 stainless steel, rectangular pedestal.

The Reinstallation

“LOVE” had been removed from the city altogether about a year ago, according to reports, and had been temporarily installed at City Hall while Love Park underwent its own restoration.

Its journey back was via parade, the city’s second in as many weeks as it just wrapped up celebrating a Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia Eagles. (However, those in attendance did report that some sprang out in the Eagles fight song as the sculpture was place atop its new pedestal.)

"We are excited to be parading it through town, welcoming it back to Philadelphia, after a whole year of being away,” said Berg.

A grand reopening of the entire park is slated for later this spring.


Tagged categories: Artists; Color + Design; Design

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