Friday, July 31, 2009

Restored ballerina

La Ballarina was unveiled in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. [pict. Dean Lewins]

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Australia

Charles Summer's La Ballarina was installed in the gardens in 1883 to give the parklands a classic European feel. In the 1970s the life-size marble sculpture was removed because it was considered an old eyesore. "People were more into modern art," Botanic Gardens Trust executive director Tim Entwisle said.

Summer, a successful Australian-born sculptor who lived in the Italian city of Carrara, copied La Ballarina from a work by early 19th century sculptor Antonio Canova. She was placed in storage and somehow lost her head, a hand and foot, Mr Entwisle said. Jacek Luszcyk re-sculptured her head using marble from the same Italian location the original material came from. Now the lovingly restored statue of the pensive looking dancer, whose fingers gently touch her new chin as she casually balances on the toes of one foot, is back.


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