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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

Archibald fountain

 

Originally unveiled in 1932, just 5 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, Mr J.F. Archibald (founding editor of the Bulletin), and was designed by French artist, Francois-Leon Sicard. A noted Francophile, Mr Archibald requested that the sculpture be designed by a French artist in order to commemorate the relationship between Australia and France during World War I.   

Description

With various bronze sculptures of Greek Gods and mythical creatures emerging out of a large circular pool - the Archibald Fountain is spectacular to behold. Apollo is the central feature, standing high upon a granite pedestal. Surrounding him on lower-level plinths are several groups of sculptures, including Theseus and the Minotaur, and Diana (the Goddess of hunting) with hounds and a deer. 

Treatment

As a public fountain that is regularly exposed 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. This included the following:

  • Assessment of the condition of the sculpture and preservation requirements
  • Cleaning of bronze sculptures, including removal of old wax, localised corrosion treatment and application of protective coating
  • Cleaning of all granite, including plinths, central fountain feature and coping
  • Cleaning of bronze jets, removal of corrosion from hose jets (as required) and rewaxing
  • Cleaning of plaques
  • Repointing of granite coping, the joints of the granite between the bronze sculpture and the granite plinth, and the central granite plinth
  • Reshaping of bronze elements as required 

For more information

Client

City of Sydney  

Services

Sculpture Conservation / Monument Conservation

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

   Archibald Fountain - AT 1
             After treatment
    (Apollo sculpture on central 
                  pedestal)

  Archibald Fountain - AT 2
             After treatment
    (Diana with hounds and deer)            

Archibald Fountain - DT 1
During treatment
(Fountain drained and scaffolding erected)  

Archibald Fountain - DT 2
During treatment
     (Cleaning Apollo sculpture)