Saratoga Springs, NY – The “Day” and “Night” Urns and “Pan” statue in the Italian Gardens have been restored, fixed, and were installed in Congress Park on Friday, April 28, 2017. The Department of Public Works fixed and restored the Urns, and the statue was re-fabricated by Adirondack Studios located in Washington County. The urns and statue were vandalized last year in separate instances.
“These beautiful pieces are valuable to the public and enjoyed by residents and visitors while they spend time in the jewel of our downtown, Congress Park,” said Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco. “It’s unfortunate that vandalism caused this damage, but I’m confident that these restorations have improved and enhanced what the Pan statue and the Day and Night Urns bring to the park.”
The Day and Night Urns were inspired by the individual marble reliefs “Day” and “Night” by world renowned artist Bertel Thorvaldsen. The arrival of the urns in Congress Pak is debatable; earliest reports have one urn installed in 1876, and the second being placed in the park in the early 1900’s. Each identical urn has a copy of the original marble relief images of Day and Night. Day is notably marked with the small boy carrying a torch to symbolize the light of the sun. On the opposite side of the urn, Night is personified with sleeping characters and the animal of the night, an owl. The earliest known photo of the urns has them painted completely white, they were restored to this state.
“In doing research on Day and Night we realized that originally they were completely white. There were no records of them being painted two colors or of any previous repairs, we took this opportunity to do a proper restoration and fix some long term problems with the Urns,” said Scirocco.
Improvements were made in the urn bases to increase stability for the cast-iron pieces, along with new drainage to prevent long term water damage. One shield, two leaf sets, and two scroll bottoms were molded or recast, and attached on the urns. After the long term repairs were made, the urns were covered in a heavy zinc clad primer, given two coats of epoxy white paint, then coated in three coats of urethane paint for protection. The total cost for the restoration and repairs was $1,425.
The Pan statue was vandalized in an incident with two Navy members on September 6, 2016 during the early morning hours. The two men turned themselves in and were prosecuted by District Attorney Karen Heggen, who obtained $7,500 in restitution to pay for the repairs along with community service.
Adirondack Studies located in Argyle was contracted to re-fabricate the Pan statue. Additional stability was added to the base of the statue to prevent any future vandalism. The current Italian Garden statues are not originals, but reproductions placed in the park in 2007. The total cost for the re-fabricated statue was $7,500.