If you've passed the Conservatory of Flowers this week, you'll likely notice something missing: "La Rose Des Vents," the gilded "rose of the wind" sculpture installed back in the fall.
"La Rose" is the work of French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel, the first artist in 300 years to install a permanent sculpture at the Palace of Versailles. It was brought to San Francisco in cooperation with 836M, the San Francisco art gallery also responsible for bringing back the Banksy rat.
The sculpture was slated to remain on the Conservatory lawn until June 2016, at which point it was hoped to find a permanent home elsewhere in San Francisco. So what happened?
Liam Passmore, spokesperson for 836M, said the sculpture was out temporarily for re-gilding, following a disagreement with El Niño.
"It turns out El Niño and gold gilding don't actually get along so great," he said. "The type of gold gilding process they used ... was not up to the unceasing rain of January, because the varnish protecting the gold weather began to peel."
The new gilding should be weatherproof, Passmore said. It's being executed by Ateliers Gohard, the French-based company that's done work on the Statue of Liberty, the Dôme des Invalides in Paris and the roof of Versailles.
The tentative re-install date is March 11th, Passmore said, and the city is still working on finding a permanent home for "La Rose" after its tenure at the Conservatory ends this summer.