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LOVE statue plans for 2018 return to LOVE Park (update)

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Just in time for the Christmas Village

A view of the LOVE statue in Philly’s LOVE Park at the Christmas Village.
If all goes to plan, the LOVE statue will return to LOVE Park in November during the Christmas Village.
Photo by Russ Brown Photography

Editor’s note: This was originally published on October 23, 2017. It has been updated throughout to reflect changes about the return date of the LOVE sculpture to LOVE Park.

The iconic LOVE statue by Robert Indiana has been in hiding since February 2017, when the city removed it from its temporary location in Dilworth Park to an undisclosed location to undergo some much needed repairs. And the original hope was that its re-debut and return to its original location at LOVE Park would coincide with the soft reopening of LOVE Park in November.

“It is still the Office of Arts, Culture and The Creative Economy’s hope that LOVE’s return to the park will happen during the Christmas Village,” assistant director Lindsay Tucker So confirmed to Curbed Philly in an e-mail.

But now, it looks like the statue’s re-debut won’t take place until 2018, according to the Parks and Recreation Department.

The popular sculpture’s original home was at LOVE Park, but it moved in 2016 when the park closed for its $16 million renovations. After spending sometime across the street at Dilworth Park, the office removed the sculpture so it could undergo a restoration. The last time it had been treated and re-painted was in 1998.

Kelly Lee, chief cultural officer of OACCE, said recently that during restorations the crew found that the sculpture had eroded over the years, specifically the “E” letter. The metal base of the sculpture will also be replaced.

In addition, during the restoration process experts discovered that one of the sculpture’s original paint colors, purple, had been hiding beneath blue paint for years. Margot Berg, public art director, said to Curbed Philly, “We have been working with the artist’s agent to verify and obtain the correct color information.”

The original hope was to bring the LOVE sculpture back during the Christmas Village, which will run from Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 23 through Sunday, December 24. We’ll just have to wait a few more months to take an iconic selfie in front of the sculpture again.

JFK Plaza / Love Park

1501 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102