Sightseers will have to look for "LOVE" a little further southeast as of Tuesday, when riggers moved Robert Indiana’s iconic statue to Dilworth Park in preparation for LOVE Park’s renovation.
The steady process of moving the statue to the northwest corner of City Hall took no more than five minutes, according to city officials, who wanted to keep it in close proximity to where its permanent home will be in a year, back at LOVE Park in front of a brand new bigger, bubbling fountain.
“It’s such a point of attraction for residents and visitors we wanted to make sure it was accessible and nearby,” said Philadelphia Public Art Director Margot Berg.
“People propose marriage in front of it. People get engaged. It’s sort of a constant flow of visitors to the sculpture, so we looked for a site that had a visual reference to LOVE Park, that was easy to find from the construction site, and Dilworth Park, directly caddy-cornered from LOVE Park, provided that kind of opportunity, right at the steps of City Hall.”
Berg said the statue will remain outside City Hall for about a year during the revamp of LOVE Park. It'll then be completely restored and repainted and brought back to its original site when LOVE Park’s construction is complete. Once before, it was completely stripped and repainted, in 1999.
“It is the target of a lot of graffiti and vandalism, unfortunately,” said Berg.
Dimensions of the statue are diminutive compared to other big art displays around town. The sculpture itself, made out of stainless steel, is about 750 lbs. and the pedestal, composed of aluminum, is about 1,750 lbs.
“It’s a fairly easy undertaking, given it's not very large in size and not very heavy – the nature of the work. It’s fairly lightweight for a public sculpture.”
Berg said she and Center City District Executive Director Paul Levy are excited about how the LOVE Park sculpture will compliment the year-round activities at Dilworth Park.