The sculpture, which was originally made for a sequence in Rocky III, is a real-life tribute to a celluloid hero who lives on as a treasured fictional son of the City of Brotherly Love. Seeing the monument, sprinting up the stairs, and taking a selfie with arms raised in victory is a must for each first-time visitor to Philadelphia.
However, there is one small problem with this story: the sculpture does not actually exist. It is an illusion created by graphic designer Michael Bierut for the film's opening sequence.
Bierut has said that he designed the image to be reminiscent of a Hollywood icon: "I felt that if they were going to make a movie about a nobody who became a somebody, then they should look like a somebody too. So I came up with the idea of making them look like the Rocky films - a little bit older, a little bit more worn around the edges."
Although it may come as a surprise considering its appearance in such a popular film series, the sculpture was not intended to be representative of boxing champion Apollo Creed but rather model builder Frank Matray's interpretation of what modern-day Greek god Zeus would look like working as a security guard. The original version of the scene showed Zeus wearing a blue uniform with a red stripe down the center of his chest, but this was later changed to match Apollo's costume for better continuity with other scenes featuring him in red.
With the aid and forethought of James (Jimmy) Binns and hundreds of Philadelphians, the Rocky monument was ultimately restored to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006. This landmark monument currently rests on a grassy knoll near to the famed steps leading to the museum, where tourists from all over the world come to admire it.
In 1872, just five years after its creation, the original bronze sculpture by John R. Rogers was destroyed when it was cast into cannon balls for use at Fort Mifflin during the Civil War. The museum's version of the statue is made of iron and steel and is about one-third the size of the original.
The museum's website has several articles that describe the history of the statue: "Rocky's Journey - From City Park to the PMA" and "The Making of Rocky."
And yes, there are actually photographs of the statue in city park before it was moved to its current location.
The bronzed "Rocky" is positioned in a "typical contrapposto posture," as described by Schomberg's Studio, and stands on a massive base, raising him even higher. The statue is dressed in traditional boxing shorts with the word "Rocky" printed in script type on them. His right hand is raised in the classic boxer's pose: fist balled, finger pointed toward the sky.
Bronze has always been the standard for statues because it can hold its shape well after being buried under soil or submerged in water. Marble tends to look more lifelike when you first see it, but after years of exposure its surface begins to lose its sheen. Bronze is also very affordable; a single piece of metal could be used for many different sculptures if necessary. Marble is quite expensive; although several pieces of marble may be worked into one sculpture, they usually remain separate objects. Gold was used often in ancient art, but it's not commonly found in statuary today. Silver looks like gold but is cheaper so isn't as popular.
The style of the "Rocky" statue is called Roman Imperialist and was very common in Britain during the early 19th century. It derived its name from the fact that it looked somewhat like a bronze statue of an emperor (which were extremely popular at this time).
Sylvester Stallone, the Rocky film series' creator and actor, gave a monument of his Rocky Balboa character to the city of Philadelphia in 1982. The monument was placed outside the entrance of the Philadelphia Art Museum, sparking a 20-year debate about its placement and aesthetic worth. In 2002, with no agreement on a new location, the art museum removed the sculpture from its premises.
Stallone later stated that he regretted giving the statue to Philadelphia and wanted it back. In 2010, after rumors that the statue would be returned for an exhibition celebrating the film's 25th anniversary, the Art Museum announced that it had found a new home for the piece. The museum now claims that the removal was done at the request of the artist's family and not because of any concerns over public safety or vandalism. However, some members of the media and fans have argued that this explanation is inadequate since there were no signs of damage when the statue was taken down and it could have been protected during transport to its new home.
The original site of the sculpture is now marked by a plaque which states: "Here stands a bronze statue of Sylvester Stallone as the legendary boxer Rocky Balboa. It was erected here by its maker, the American artist Michael Lantz, in 1982. One year later, it was donated to the City of Philadelphia by its creator.
Following the completion of the shoot, Stallone gave the monument to the City of Philadelphia. The statue has stood at the bottom of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 2006, and there is a near-constant queue of visitors waiting to get their photographs taken with the "Italian Stallion."
Stallone made this decision after talking with his son, Sage. At the time, Sage didn't want his father to sell any of his belongings, including the movie memorabilia, so Stallone put the statue on display instead. Following this conversation, Stallone decided that he wouldn't sell the items that belonged to him as a way of keeping them together with his son's memories.
However, the city government didn't want the statue standing alone so they asked Stallone if they could keep it. He agreed, and the statue now stands as a symbol of Philadelphia's culture scene.
In conclusion, yes, the Rocky statue is in Philly!
The Unity Statue, also known as The Peace Monument, is a monument to peace and reconciliation on Malta. It was built in 2004 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Maltese accession to the European Union. The tall bronze sculpture stands in Valletta's City Park. It was sculpted by British artist Antony Gormley.
The world's first life-size cast iron statue was created in 1866 by William Simonds. Unveiled in Coney Island, it depicted a Native American chief called the "Spirit of Truth." Today, it can be seen in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
In 1865, another pioneer in the world of statues, Georg Ehrlich, cast his "Spirit of Truth" in silver. Like Simonds' work, this too is now in a museum: the New York Historical Society.
But neither of these statues comes close to the greatness of Antony Gormley's Unity Monument on Malta. First erected in 2004, it is a tall bronze sculpture of one piece with an oval base. The image shows two figures facing each other, their arms raised in a gesture of peace.