Il Porcellino

PROJECT DATE : 2016
project
Il Porcellino
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Memorial Conservation, Public Art

Overview

This beloved sculpture of a wild boar – with a snout polished gold by visitors – is an exact replica of one by Italian artist Pietro Tacca, which has been on display in Florence since c. 1633.

Located in front of Sydney’s oldest hospital, Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street, it is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are encouraged to donate a coin through the boar’s open mouth (letting it fall into the pool beneath) and rub his snout afterwards for good luck. All donations go towards the work of the hospital.

Primarily made of bronze, the sculpture includes a small pool surrounded by an array of sculpted water creatures (tortoises, frogs, snails, lizards and crabs) and is mounted upon a sandstone base.

The piece was donated to the City of Sydney by Marchesa Fiaschi Torrigiani in 1968 and is a memorial to her father and brother who both worked as surgeons at Sydney Hospital.

ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to carry out conservation and maintenance work to the Il Porcellino sculpture.

Condition

As an outdoor monument exposed to the elements, various condition issues needed to be addressed. These included:

  • Minor delamination, damage and build-up of biological growth on parts of the sandstone base
  • Minor areas of corrosion, wearing of patina and loss of wax on parts of the bronze sculpture
  • Loss of one of the four plaques on the sandstone base, and deterioration of the black letting on the remaining plaques

Treatment

  • Cleaning the bronze sculpture, removing old wax, performing localised corrosion treatments and applying a protective coating
  • Cleaning the sandstone base, reducing staining, carrying out repointing and repairing deteriorated and missing sealing joints
  • Cleaning the plaques, infilling the lettering to match the original finish and waxed surface

project
Il Porcellino
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Memorial Conservation, Public Art
Before Treatment
After Treatment

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