Campus Statue Undergoing Restoration

“La Grande Disco” by Arnaldo Pomodoro is being restored after 40 years of weathering.

By Sofia Garcia

For 40 years, a large copper disk stood in front of the Surgery Brain Research Institute on South Ellis Avenue, jagged cracks radiating from a complicated geometric pattern in the center. In 2013, it seemingly disappeared.

The sculpture, La Grande Disco by Arnaldo Pomodoro, is being restored following years of weathering and corrosion. It is one of six identical sculptures around the world, and contains a turning mechanism which allows it to rotate slowly.

Methods & Materials, a Chicago-based art installation company, is working with the Litas Liparini Restoration Studio to bring the sculpture back to its original condition.

“It’s important to note that these massive outdoor objects require a considered approach to their care and siting, and extensive research is done before moving or conserving a work to ensure that our decisions are appropriate to the artist’s intent and the art historical context of the object,” University spokesperson Marielle Sainvilus said.

Jane Foley, who is heading the restoration efforts, said that great care is being taken in ensuring that the sculpture will be able to withstand environmental conditions in the future. Aside from polishing the surface and removing corroded and loose material, the studio is treating the sculpture with anti-corrosion agents and coating the exterior with lacquer.

According to Foley, restoration efforts will be completed in December, with final adjustments made in the sculpture’s new location on campus.