Visitors to Zurich central train station might be disappointed in the next few weeks not to see the famous ‘Guardian Angel’ sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle hanging over them in the main hall. But don’t worry, she is just having a facelift.
The sculpture has been hanging there since 1997, when it was donated by the French artist for the station’s 150th anniversary. But 20 years have left their mark, including dust, water, grease and bird droppings, according to Christian Marty who leads the restoration project. He said the restoration work was expected to take about three weeks.
The work is 11 metres high and weighs 1.2 tonnes. It represents a well-rounded woman with golden wings, clothed in a kind of multi-coloured costume.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in 1997, Niki de Saint Phalle said that angels were usually men. But she said this one was a woman, because it was good to change.
The artist, who was known for her monumental sculpture, was married to internationally known Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. She died in 2002.