PHILADELPHIA, PA - After being gone for a full year, Philadelphia’s iconic LOVE sculpture has returned to JFK Plaza, also known as Love Park, just in time for those Valentine’s Day photos!
On Tuesday, Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture returned in triumphant fashion.
Over the past year, the sculpture was stripped, repaired and re-painted with the original colors: red, green and purple…not blue, which it was incorrectly painted in 1988.
The piece was originally installed in 1976 with red green and purple coloring. However, after 12 years of weathering, the purple started to look blue.
In 1988 it was re-painted wrong blue instead of purple.
But this time around they got it right.
As part of the sculpture conservation and overall renovation of LOVE Park, the LOVEsculpture was taken off-site in February 2017 to be stripped, repaired and re-painted with the original colors. In addition to restoring the sculpture, a new rectangular pedestal was designed in keeping with the way Indiana’s other works, like the AMOR (1998) sculpture, are displayed. This project was undertaken by Materials Conservation, LLC and Iron Studio, Inc.
Before arriving at JFK Plaza, the piece was paraded through the streets of the city and placed alongside several other beloved city of Philadelphia public art sculptures and cultural institutions like Logan Square’s Swann Memorial Fountain, and also the very similar AMOR sculpture by the same artist.
Margot Berg is the Public Art Director for the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and told PHL17, “As you know, Love Park is undergoing a major renovation which has just been completed. So, the sculpture went away for renovation as a part of that overall park redesign and refurbishment.”
Some skateboarders in the crowd seemed to be the only ones disappointed with the new look. Dave Platowsky told me he skated at the old Love Park for 20 years and is disappointed with the lack of seating in the new plaza.