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Portion of the 'Spoonbridge and Cherry' sculpture removed for repainting

The cherry portion of the famous "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture is traveling to New York for a fresh coat of paint.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center will be without one of its most iconic and recognizable landmarks for a few weeks.

The cherry, of the "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture, was removed on Nov. 16 and is on its way to New York for a fresh coat of paint.

Why the long trip? The Walker says the giant cherry is traveling east for a facelift by a firm that specializes in refinishing sculptures. The museum says the company responsible for the cherry's repainting has worked with some of the most prominent sculptors and handled other pieces by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, the husband and wife duo who designed Spoonbridge and Cherry.

The cherry will make its way back to the bold north in mid-January.

RELATED: KARE in the Air: Spoonbridge and Cherry

According to the Walker, "the fountain-sculpture was inspired by a novelty item Oldenburg had collected in 1962, featuring a spoon resting on an 'island' of plastic chocolate. From this, the artists envisioned a gigantic utensil as a fanciful bridge over a pond. In considering Minnesota as a site, they compared the spoon’s raised bowl to the prow of a Viking ship or a duck bobbing in a lake."

Credit: KARE

The sculpture, which is 50 feet long, was the first work commissioned for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which opened in 1988.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is free and is open from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight every day.

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