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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

sydney harbour bridge cranes conservation


The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most significant landmarks, and one of the most readily recognised symbols of Sydney. Officially opened in 1932, a distinctive feature of the Sydney Harbour Bridge's profile since this time has been the four painting and maintenance cranes. The original cranes, designed in 1929 and decommissioned in 1997, were in use for nearly seventy years. ICS was commissioned by the RTA to guide them through the decision making process with regard to the future of the four cranes which were removed from the Bridge in 1997. The result of this process was that one crane would be retained by the RTA and placed on external public display, one crane would be donated to the National Museum of Australia, and the remaining two cranes would be de-accessioned and subsequently disposed of.


  • Development of a Heritage Asset Management Strategy (HAMS)
  • Negotiating possible donation terms and conditions between the RTA and the National Museum of Australia
  • Scheme design for proposed display of a crane in Bradfield Park
  • Development of interpretive strategy for the proposed display of a crane in Bradfield Park
  • Preparation of submission to North Sydney Council
  • Scoping of conservation treatment methodologies
  • Undertaking conservation treatments of two cranes, including full treatment documentation
  • Coordination of the disposal of remnants of two cranes
  • Documentation of disposal process
  • Development and negotiation of loan agreement for loan of a conserved crane to the National Museum of Australia


2011 National Trust Heritage Awards - Conservation for Built Heritage: Highly Commended

Read more about our conservation of the National Museum crane and the crane for display.


Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW)


Objects Conservation, Collections Management      







 Sydney Harbour Bridge crane_scheme drawing

Scheme drawing of proposed crane installation in Bradfield Park 

Sydney Harbour Bridge crane interpretation 
Artist's rendition of proposed Sydney Harbour Bridge crane installation in Bradfield  Park

Sydney Harbour Bridge Crane - RTA AT

Crane for external display - After treatment

Sydney Harbour Bridge Crane - NMA AT

Crane donated to the National Museum of Australia - After treatment