Archibald Fountain

PROJECT DATE : 2017
project
Archibald Fountain
client
City of Sydney
services
Monuments, Public Art, Sculpture Conservation

Overview

Originally unveiled in 1932 – just five days before the opening of the Harbour Bridge – the Archibald Fountain is considered one of Australia’s finest public fountains.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s Hyde Park, it was built with the bequest of its namesake J.F. Archibald (founding editor of The Bulletin in 1880). The sculpture was designed by French artist François-Léon Sicard (1862-1934). A noted Francophile, Archibald requested the sculpture be designed by a French artist to commemorate the relationship between Australia and France during the First World War.

Spectacular to behold, the fountain features bronze sculptures of Greek gods and mythical creatures emerging from a large circular pool. The central figure of Apollo, high on a granite pedestal, is surrounded on lower-level plinths by groups of sculptures including Theseus and the Minotaur, and Diana (goddess of hunting) with hounds and a deer.

Condition

Due to exposure to the elements, numerous conservation and maintenance works were required.

ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to undertake cleaning and conservation work to both the granite and bronze components of the fountain.

Treatment

Work included:

  • Assessing the condition of the sculpture and preservation requirements
  • Cleaning of bronze sculptures, including removal of old wax, localised corrosion treatment and application of protective coating
  • Cleaning of all granite, including plinths, central fountain feature and coping
  • Cleaning of bronze jets, removal of corrosion from hose jets (as required) and re-waxing
  • Cleaning of plaques
  • Repointing of granite coping, the joints of the granite between the bronze sculpture and the granite plinth, and the central granite plinth

More information

  • Visit the City of Sydney’s page on the Archibald Fountain

project
Archibald Fountain
client
City of Sydney
services
Monuments, Public Art, Sculpture Conservation
During Treatment
After Treatment

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