The iconic Brett Whiteley egg-in-a-nest sculpture at Newcastle Art Gallery is set for removal.
Don't worry, it won't be gone for good.
Art gallery director Lauretta Morton said the face of the egg was discoloured from more than 25 years of "UV exposure and salt spray".
The sculpture, which is named Black Totem II, first came to Newcastle in 2013. It was originally perched along a "sculpture walk" at Walsh Bay on Sydney Harbour.
Prolonged exposure to the harbour's elements has played havoc with the sculpture’s base and nest. It's a bit worse for wear. We're told it is suffering from "peeling and bubbling". Thankfully, though, there are no cracks [we couldn't resist that one].
The so-called bird's nest sculpture is not, perhaps, everyone's come of tea. But, by crikey, it's a Whiteley.
We're not sure about the exact meaning of Black Totem II. Apparently, as a youngster, Whiteley was fascinated with bird's eggs and nests. The egg, which is a recurring theme in his art, is a symbol of fertility.
But we might be reading too much into it. It could be a simple theme. All art is about sex and death, isn't it? Perhaps, it's to do with getting laid.
Newcastle City Council, for its part, says the restoration works are "essential" to ensure the sculpture remains a "proud and prominent community asset".
A few years back, the sculpture was caught up in controversy over allegations that it was given to the gallery in exchange for a $350,000 donation to the Brett Whiteley Foundation. There was a lot of egg-citement about that at the time.
Here at Topics, we like our eggs sunny side up. So we're glad the council is committed to keep Whiteley's sculpture long-term. Some of our more hard-boiled readers might criticise us for this stance because we're not an egg-spert on art. If we do cop some criticism, omelet it slide.
And don't blame us for the egg puns. The council started it by telling us it was "egg-secuting" restoration of the sculpture.
The egg and nest will be removed by crane on Monday and taken to a contractor’s workshop. It'll be spruced up and repainted, before being reinstalled in about a month.
In the meantime, temporary fencing will remain around the base of the artwork. Sounds egg-cellent.
Some things just don't go well together.
Like, for example, toothpaste and orange juice. Another one is fish and milk. Nuts and gum are also a no-no.
Cyanide and humans, too, should not be mixed. And religion and government never go well together.
Dencorub and genitals don't mix happily. Neither do kids and matches. You shouldn't mix alcohol and driving. And, unfortunately, beer and ice cream do not make a happy marriage. Neither do succulents and cow poo, as you can see from this sign at Wyee.