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.
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.
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