LOVE sculpture is going home after some TLC

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia is losing a little bit of love - but just for a few months.

The city's iconic LOVE sculpture is about to get some TLC of its own, before returning to its permanent home in Center City.

Since 1976 the LOVE has been on display in Philadelphia.

A day after Valentine's Day, crews starting taking the LOVE away from its temporary home in Dilworth Park, where it has been on display for a year. Its original home, LOVE Park, is just across the street and is being renovated.

Without question, the sign has a special place to Philadelphians.

"I love the LOVE sign. It makes me, like, love Philadelphia even more. It is part of it because it is brotherly love," said Aniya Calloway of Germantown.

"The feel you get from the happiness of people just standing under the word "love" - it means what it is: love," said Michael Henkel of South Philadelphia.

It took crews a couple of hours to remove the 600 pound sculpture.

The city understands it will be missed, but says the sculpture needed a little TLC because people were showing a bit too much love.

"People, they do like to scratch their initials into it, they do a lot of graffiti, stickers. And so all of that has taken its toll," said Public Art Director Margot Berg.

Crews will strip down the sign, repaint it with a more durable paint, and repair any signs of corrosion, which will take a couple of months or so.

The last time the sign was refurbished was back in 1998. As many saw the LOVE leave, they admit they were sad, but the city promises the LOVE will return.

"The city and the country need more love. Absolutely this country is so divided, and I hope soon that either God or the people see the light of day and start loving one another again, because we need it," said Henkel.

If you're wondering about the cost to repair LOVE, the city says it's about $50,000, which includes transportation.

The good news is the LOVE sculpture will return to LOVE Park this summer.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.