2013-06-27 / Local & State

Once-golden NYC Statue To Be Regilded In Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A once-golden statue of the deity Diana that formerly stood as the tallest point in New York will be refurbished by its current owners at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The 13-foot-tall sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens depicts the hunting goddess poised to shoot an arrow. Conservationists are using a $200,000 private grant to regild the now faded artwork with 180 square feet of gold leaf.

“Diana is widely recognized as one of the great icons of our collection, but most people do not realize that the sculpture’s graygreen surfaces once gleamed in gold,’’ museum director and CEO Timothy Rub said.

The statue was first installed in 1893 as a weather vane atop the original Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Standing on a 300- foot-high tower and fitted with “billowing drapery’’ to catch the wind, Diana became the highest point in the city, according to museum records.

After the entertainment complex was torn down in 1925, Diana was placed into storage. The Philadelphia museum acquired the statue seven years later.

The restoration project announced Thursday is expected to take about four months.

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