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Recoating a Symbol of a City

SpecialChem / Jan 13, 2010

For more than two decades, the "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden near the Walker Art Center has been a symbol of the Twin Cities. In February, after more than 20 years of being perched atop a giant spoon, the 1,200-pound metal cherry was removed and taken to a local paint facility for a facelift. Walker Art Center representatives who are in charge of the sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen had noticed some surface irregularities on the cherry and were concerned about the condition of its coatings. A failure analysis was performed by closely inspecting the cherry from a lift while it was still attached to the spoon. While the cherry had been repainted three previous times throughout the years, it was noted that the paint was fading, exhibiting slight discolorations, along with some microscopic surface cracking. These conditions were most likely brought on by more than 20 years of extreme conditions, such as temperature variations, UV rays from the sun and being exposed to water as the sculpture is part of a water feature.

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