May 1, 2024 - News

Philadelphia's Rocky statue gets polished

The Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images via Getty

As if Rocky Balboa wasn't stout enough, he's getting a buff.

Why it matters: The Rocky statue must look its best for the millions of pilgrims who visit the sculpture every year at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Driving the news: Art conservators from the Heritage Conservation Collective will clean the iconic bronze statue May 7-8 as part of routine maintenance, per a city news release.

  • The city will put up temporary barriers and signs directing foot traffic while the statue is polished daily from 8am-4 pm.
  • The barriers will be removed both days to allow people to continue paying homage to the Rocky statue, which is so popular with tourists that it helped inspire a forthcoming "Rocky-con" festival and a book by Michael Vitez, a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter.

Fun fact: The price to clean Rocky? $4,500.

How it got here: Sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg created the statue in 1980, and Sylvester Stallone gifted it to the city. It is one of more than 1,000 pieces in the city's permanent art collection.

What they're saying: Marguerite Anglin, the city's public art director, says the maintenance helps protect the statue from weather damage and will "preserve it for generations to come."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Heritage Conservation Collective (not the Conservation Center) will clean the statue, and that it's one of more than 1,000 pieces (not 1,800) in the city's permanent art collection.

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