The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

With fresh coat of gold, Philadelphia Museum of Art's sculpture of goddess Diana shines again

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PHILADELPHIA - A symbol of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is once again looking radiant in bright shiny gold after a yearlong restoration.

It's the 13-foot-tall sculpture of the Roman goddess Diana in an archer's pose, ready to fire her arrow.

The sculpture has long held a place of prominence and honour in the museum's central hall.

The work by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (gaw-DEHNS') originally crowned an early venue for New York's Madison Square Garden, where it served as a weather vane starting in 1893.

After that building was demolished in 1925, the sculpture was put in storage — its gilded surface severely worn down by the elements. The museum acquired it in 1932.

Museum officials said Thursday that 180 square feet of gold leaf was applied over the 700-pound work.

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