Return of ‘Love' to Philly Celebrated by Parade to Iconic Downtown Park

Parade celebrates the return of iconic sculpture to its namesake park

There's another reason to love Philly as the city celebrated the return of an icon Tuesday: The Robert Indiana-designed "Love" sculpture was reinstalled at its namesake park at the base of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The city hosted a parade to celebrate the return of the sculpture (and that's what it really is, not a statue).

Dubbed "Love on the Move", the parade started at 25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue before winding its way around Eakins Oval and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

The parade made seven specially designated "Love stops" at other sculptures and parks on the way.

The parade will offer the city its first opportunity to see "Love" in its original colors. Two previous restorations in 1988 and 1998 resulted in the sculpture being painted red, green and blue. But during renovations, representatives of the sculptor provided the city with records showing the statue was originally red, green and purple.

Crews work to place Philadelphia’s version of Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture atop its granite pedestal at Love Park. Meanwhile, crowds gathered to watch its return and to snap a picture with its slightly changed colors.

The purple was restored during the $55,000 restoration process.

The correction makes Philadelphia’s version of Indiana’s iconic LOVE unique, as it's the only one with purple color, according to city officials.

Though the sculpture has become a symbol of Philadelphia, there are many versions of it, including on Sixth Avenue in New York, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and even in Montreal, Bilbao and Armenia.

It's been just under one year since Philadelphia's "Love" was removed from public view to accommodate restoration of the sculpture and a complete multi-million dollar makeover of its namesake park, which has seen the addition of new green spaces and fountains.

A grand reopening of the entire park will come later this spring, but the focus on Tuesday is the celebration of the return of "Love" just in time for Valentine's Day.

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