Rittenhouse Billy Goat awaits fate after hearing postponed

Rittenhouse Billy Goat awaits fate after hearing postponed
Wikipedia Commons

A hearing to determine the fate of the goat statue in Rittenhouse Square was put on hold Wednesday.

The Philadelphia Art Commission planned to meet in the morning to discuss the life-sized Billy Goat statue that has stood in the square since 1919.

After years of hands petting his bronze form, children climbing him and posing for pictures, Billy Goat is worn in spots and isn’t holding up too well, CBS3 reported.

“There are sharp parts to it, but kids have managed to be fine,” Julie Krug of Center City told CBS3.

A private donor has offered to pay for Billy to be recast, the city’s Public Art Director Margo Berg told Philadelphia Magazine. Billy has a twin – who also goes by Billy – in Camden, New Jersey. Since Camden Billy has aged more gracefully than Rittenhouse Billy, the plan is to make a cast of the Camden version to replace Philly’s goat. The original Rittenhouse statue would be held in the Philadelphia City Institute branch of the Free Library across the street.

The Philadelphia Art Commission was expected to make a decision on the proposal on Wednesday, but the review was postponed so the commission can get more feedback from community groups, CBS3 reported.

Billy was created by the artist Albert Laessle in 1914 and installed in Rittenhouse Square in 1919, Philadelphia Magazine reported.

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