Though statues are able to withstand more wear-and-tear than humans, that doesn’t mean they never need a little time to repair and recover. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, battered statues receive the care they need at a hospital for the city’s statues.
The hospital is technically a workshop run by Buenos Aires’ Department of Monuments and Artworks. A team of 25 people is responsible for restoring the statues to their original look. This sometimes is as simple as removing graffiti and polishing the sculpture, though more extreme cases of damage require new parts to be sculpted for the piece. The restoration workers study original pictures of the statues in order to match what was originally there.
The statues endure the most vandalism around times of elections, when people paint or stick posters to the public artwork. However, the statues also endure a fair amount of damage throughout the year, whether it be from tourists posing for pictures, vandals purposely breaking or stealing pieces, or the natural effects of weather taking a toll.
There are approximately 2,000 public statues in various public spaces around Buenos Aires. To maintain the restoration work, the newly-repaired statues are sometimes enclosed in cages or glass cases to better protect them from future damage.