By the mid 2000s, Pomodoro’s sphere was starting to show its scars. This photo from 2005 is a good example of the damage it had suffered.
Part of the reason was the decision to cover the podium in gravel to discourage the use of its angles and slopes as a skateboard park by Dublin’s youth. Inevitably, stones worked their way into the delicate internal mechanisms and the rotating sphere became static. The pebbles also provided a handy way to scratch graffiti into the metal covering of the sculpture.
In summer 2008, the sculpture underwent substantial refurbishment, firstly of the internal bearings and pivot, and then of the outer skin. For some time the sphere was encased in a wooden box as the restorers did their work.
When it emerged, gleaming, it was as good as new and just as shiny. Barriers were kept around it for some time however, raising questions from the College community if they were to be permanent. Small metal flanges now protrude from the sloping dais to discourage its use as a skate park.
While Sfera con Sfera was back up and rotating, the story of the podium was going to take a watery twist a few years’ later, which we will feature in a later post.
Renovation images: John Jordan.