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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

sydney statues: Project!


The Sydney Statues: Project! was part of Art and About Sydney 2010, a month-long festival celebrating the creative industries and individuals of Sydney. A key aim of the Sydney Statues: Project! was to reinvigorate the history of Sydney's past, by encouraging people to take a fresh look at some of the historic statuary around the CBD. The project aimed to highlight these statues to the general public, as well as to share some of the stories associated with the statues and the lives of the people they honour. We worked closely with Creative Director Michelle McCosker and Producer Imogen Semmler during the development of this project.

Eight statues, including Queen Victoria, Captain Cook, William Bede Dalley, Prince Albert, Il Porcellino, Shakespeare Memorial and Edward VII, were clad in brightly coloured textiles, reminiscent of the colourful wearable art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. The clothing and accessories were rich with references to not only the "Australiana" fashion era, but also to historical symbols around which we can learn more about the social, cultural and political history relating to these individuals.

An integral component of this project was to ensure that the statues involved were not damaged as a result of their involvement in the art installation. We worked with Production Manager Alasdair Nicol to ensure this, by assisting with a risk assessment prior to costume construction and installation of the garments, in order to identify the most significant risks to the statues while in costume. We also guided the development of a materials register and risk analysis matrix for abrasiveness, flammability and colour fastness. All fabrics were tested against this matrix prior to being used. Additionally, we provided advice in relation to the attachment and installation methods for the costumes in order to minimise the risk of damage to the sculptures.


  • Risk assessment of proposed materials and attachment methods
  • Development of risk matrix for abrasiveness, flammability and colour fastness
  • Development of materials register
  • Provision of advice in relation to attachment and installation of costumes



City of Sydney 


Sculpture Conservation


 Prince Albert

 Prince Albert

 Edward VII

Edward VII

Queen Victoria during the day 

Queen Victoria during the day

 Queen Victoria at night

Queen Victoria at night