Originally unveiled in 1932, just 5 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, Mr J.F. Archibald (founding editor of the Bulletin), and was designed by French artist, François-Léon Sicard. A noted Francophile, Mr Archibald requested that the sculpture be designed by a French artist in order to commemorate the relationship between Australia and France during World War I.
With various bronze sculptures of Greek Gods and mythical creatures emerging out of a large circular pool – the Archibald Fountain is spectacular to behold. Apollo is the central feature, standing high upon a granite pedestal. Surrounding him on lower-level plinths are several groups of sculptures, including Theseus and the Minotaur, and Diana (the Goddess of hunting) with hounds and a deer.
As a public fountain that is regularly exposed 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. This included the following:
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