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Walker's cherry to be reunited with its spoon

Three months after it was sent clear across the country for a new paint job, the Walker Art Center’s iconic cherry returns to the sculpture garden Friday.

MINNEAPOLIS — An iconic symbol of Minneapolis has its cherry on top once again.

The Walker Art Center announced the cherry from the famous "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture will make its triumphant return to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Feb. 18, about three months after it was removed and transported to New York for repainting.

"In order to keep the red crisp and glossy through all seasons, the Cherry requires a fresh coat of paint about every 10 years," the Walker explained on its website.

KARE 11's Jennifer Austin was up bright and early Friday to follow the cherry on the last leg of its journey from a warehouse in New Hope to the sculpture garden outside the Walker. A crane will lift it off a flatbed trailer and return the cherry to its rightful perch on the spoon sometime around 11:30 a.m. or so.

The "Spoonbridge and Cherry," designed by artists Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg, has been a fixture at the Walker since the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden first opened in 1988. Since that time, the sculpture has been featured in numerous images depicting Minneapolis, often with picturesque views of the city's skyline in the background.

The 1,200 pound aluminum cherry requires repainting about every ten years and was last restored in 2009. 

For this touch-up, the cherry was taken to Fine Art Finishes in New York for the repainting work.

But why New York?

"People don't realize the diameter of the cherry is nine feet so there are very few auto-body shops that would be able to handle something like that let alone have a familiarity with this kind of paint system," Walker Art Center Director of Collections Joe King explained to KARE 11's Jana Shortal in November. "We are going to someone who has specific experience working with works by Oldenburg using this paint system and a paint expert in the field."

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