The Birds are back at Olympic Village. You know, the ones that are only a few hundred times the size of actual sparrows.
The City of Vancouver says both of the popular giant sparrow sculptures have been reinstalled at the main plaza at the Olympic Village in Southeast False Creek, just in time for the start of the 27th International Ornithological Congress held in the city.
The sculptures were removed from the plaza for major repairs in November of last year, due to severe damage from the public climbing, riding bicycles, and skateboarding on their surfaces.
In fact, this was no simple repair and it involved sending the birds to Calgary for mould-making before migrating to China where they were cast in aluminum to provide greater strength and durability from future wear and tear.
After their trip to China, the sculptures were sent back to Calgary where they underwent finishing and coating work to create the same colourful painted surface as the originals.
“The Birds is much-loved by those who live in and visit Vancouver and is part of the vibrant artwork which enlivens our public spaces,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The restoration ensures that a beloved work of art will stay for a very long time.”
The cost of the rebuild and reinstallation is covered by the city’s reserve fund for the maintenance of public art. These statues were designed by local artist Myfanwy MacLeod for the municipal government’s public art program for the 2010 Olympics.
Climbing on the newly upgraded artwork is strongly discouraged.