Philadelphia -Today, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy announce that the LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana will return for public viewing in early 2018. City officials have decided to delay its return to better accommodate the conservation schedule and tight construction timeline for the park project.  Love Park, also known as JFK Plaza, will have a soft opening for the holidays featuring the return of Christmas Village later this month.

“We realize that the return of the LOVE sculpture to the park is highly-anticipated and we are working bring it back as soon as possible, ” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.  “Our top priority has been to work with our project partners at InterPark and their contractors to ensure the park is ready to receive the Christmas Village in time for its installation in the next two weeks.  However, the return of the LOVE sculpture will not be far behind.”

Also, during the restoration of the LOVE sculpture, an important detail about the piece came to light. The artist’s agent notified the City that the piece was originally painted red, green and purple when it was installed in 1976, not the red, green and blue that it has been for many years.  The correct color information has been provided to the conservators, and the City is working with the artist’s representatives to shepherd this restoration.

In addition to restoring the sculpture, OACCE is designing a new, rectangular pedestal in keeping with the way his other works, like the AMOR sculpture, are displayed.

“While the artist Robert Indiana created numerous versions of LOVE, Philadelphia’s sculpture was the only version that he painted in the purple color,” said Margot Berg, Public Art Director for the City’s Office of Arts and Culture.  “Singular and unique to Philadelphia, we have even more reasons to love our LOVE and we are thrilled to restore it to the artist’s original intent. The additional time will allow the sculpture’s paint to cure properly so that it can withstand the elements for many years.”

Soon after its installation in the park, the City will host a celebration for the LOVE sculpture’s return, during which officials will also announce a new sponsor for the LOVE Sculpture Plaza.  A grand re-opening celebration for the park will happen in Spring 2018.