Skateboarders, graffiti artists and Dublin’s sea air have been named as the reasons why Trinity’s Pomodoro Sphere will now remain permanently enclosed inside a barrier.
The famous Sphere, situated outside the Berkeley Library, recently underwent a huge restoration and renovation project carried out by the Buildings Office, metal sculptural experts and the restorer Agostino Ragusa who was specially recommended by the Sphere’s creator, Arnolodo Pomodoro. Although both the inside and the outside of the Sphere have been fully restored, College has made the controversial decision to barricade the sculpture inside a plastic fence to avoid further damage to it.
According to Trinity’s curator, Catherine Giltrap, ‘Both the artist and restorers were quite saddened to see the condition the sphere’s surfaces was in – most of their job involved removing as many traces as possible of deeply cut graffiti and protecting it again to conserve the surface against the atmosphere, particularly Dublin’s sea air and pollution.’
Mr. Pomodoro has created similar spheres which have been placed all over the world including the Vatican, the United Nations HQ at New York, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Yet according to Ms Giltrap, none of the other golden spheres have been as badly damaged as Trinity’s.
Although restoration works were finished in late August, a high metal barrier remained around the Sphere until late this week.
Ms Giltrap said that the delay in removing the security fencing around the sculpture was due to the Buildings Office who ‘are trying to resolve the best way to create a low, subtle barrier at the base of the sloped podium’ that does not interfere with the aesthetics of the plaza. This, she says, will protect the sculpture from ‘skateboard damage which continues to be an issue.’
On Friday evening, the metal fencing was indeed removed but replaced by a black, plastic, waist-high fence. Whether this is the permanent ‘low, subtle barrier’ that the Buildings Office has erected remains to be seen.
Ms Giltrap called on all Trinity staff and students to protect the Sphere by reporting anyone who tries to damage it, “The College staff and students will be helping to protect the cultural heritage of the College if reports are submitted to me about anyone trying to damage it, staff and students should also feel free to request anyone seen to be destroying the sphere or any other artwork to stop.”