Billy Penn gets some work done

Every ten years, the 26.5-ton statue of William Penn atop City Hall gets an overhaul, with a bath, wax and buff, and laser treatment. The conservation effort, delayed by red tape and the NFL draft, got under way this week and will continue for the next four to six weeks. The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is overseeing the conservation of the statue. Here's a peek under the scaffolding.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Workers from Moorland Studios of Stockton, N.J., use a flamethrower to clean William Penn's face and apply a protective wax to the surface of the statue. The sculpture, created in 1892 by the sculptor Alexander Milne Calder, is fitted together in 47 sections with 1,402 bolts, and located 500 feet above the street.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Moorland Studios workers (from left) Margarate Parrish, James Bassett-Cann, and Eliot Bassett-Cann at work on William Penn's hat. A low-pressure water treatment and specialized soap and brushes will be used to remove the dirt and corrosion and address damage caused by atmospheric pollutants, winds, and — of course — bird poop.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Moorland Studios workers Margarate Parrish (left) and Eliot Bassett-Cann at work on the William Penn statue. The surface of the statue has tiny pits that were caused by the casting at the foundry, Tacony Iron Works and a laser will be used to remove the corrosion from those pitted areas.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Eliot Bassett-Cann putting on a protective layer of wax that will be buffed to make sure there is an even coating on the William Penn sculpture atop City Hall.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Hot lips: A flamethrower is used to apply a wax layer to William Penn's mouth. It has been 10 years since the sculpture's last conservation treatment.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
An identifying number is taped to William Penn's right hand famously stretched over Philadelphia. Funding for the restoartion project is provided by private funds, city capital dollars and a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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