I had never seen the Rocky Film so this statue was something of a mystery to me. But, in short, I’ve now watched a clip from the first Rocky movie where the actor Sylvester Stallone ends a morning run by jogging up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So, this is an important site for fans of the movie.
This is the first statue that I’ve ever seen where there’s a queue to have a photograph taken in front of it. The queue also seemed endless, both when I arrived and left the museum.
The siting of the statue has caused some argument over the years. It was used as a film prop for Rocky III and it was then given to the city in 1982. The statue, designed by A. Thomas Schomberg, was placed at the top of the steps but some felt that a film prop shouldn’t be located in front of an internationally important art museum.
So, the city authorities shoved the statue out at the Spectrum stadium in southern Philadelphia, but it was starting to become an iconic symbol of the city because it represented the triumph of the underdog. After some more arguing it was decided that a compromise site would be found, so the statue is now located near to the base of the steps, but it doesn’t impact on the view of the museum.