Friday, September 08, 2006


You probably remember the scene in Rocky where he runs up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art while training for the big fight. When I went to there last year it was hard not to hum the theme and pump my fists in the air as I reached the top of the steps. This movie has changed the museum forever. My Swedish seatmate on the train on Tuesday was unmoved with the sight of Boathouse Row or One Liberty Place, but excitedly pointed out the museum and sheepishly said "Rocky." Being a landmark of pop culture, it's no wonder there was such public debate when the museum turned down Stallone's gift of the comemorative bronze statue from Rocky III. The commission said it was more of a movie prop than art, and it went against the commission's desire to "raise the standards of the city." So the statue was placed in front of the Spectrum sports arena.

The art commission recently voted 6-2 in favor of returning what is now a cultural icon that has stood the test of time, so with all the pomp of moving Ramses or the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the statue is being returned to the museum (but on street level). The Italian Stallion himself is expected to make an appearance at the dedication ceremony. Rocky fans, rejoice.

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