Over a year and a half since the popular bronze statues of three children playing in the waters of Okanagan Lake was removed from its home at Marina Way Park, sculptor Chong Fahcheong’s The Romp is ready to be reinstalled.
The artwork was removed from the park in August 2009 after it was damaged in an apparent act of vandalism.
The sculpture has since been repaired and reinforced and might be ready for reinstallation possibly as soon as May 7, according to the chair of the city’s heritage, arts and cultural advisory committee Coun. Judy Sentes.
“It has been a long journey for the sculpture but I think (the community) will be happy to have it back and installed,” she said.
Originally the piece was located behind the Japanese Gardens, however, after the latest damage Sentes said it will now be relocated to a more visible location at the northeastern shoreline of the park — although Fahcheong created the sculpture with the intention that it be located in the water.
“It will be right in the vicinity of where Ironman begins,” said Sentes. “It will be a much more visible site. People along Lakeshore walking and driving will be able to see it. There is actually a streetlight right there as well. So we believe it’ll be much more protected in that location.
“I think it is a delightful sculpture. I think that it is one that everyone can enjoy. There is not any real interpretive message there. It is very indicative of children playing, so I think the community will be very delighted to have it back, especially in the more visible location.”