Birmingham Floozie set for return to the spotlight

By on 01/11/2010 in Culture, News

One of Birmingham's best loved ladies returns to the spotlight tomorrow (November 5) and she will be looking better than ever after a much needed facelift.

The River Goddess Fountain, popularly known as 'The Floozie in the Jacuzzi', has undergone significant restoration work following the discovery of a major water leak.

The three-month project was approved after a comprehensive survey of the 17-year-old fountain also found several mechanical and electrical parts in urgent need of replacement.

Work undertaken includes:

  • Excavation of the two fountain bowls
  • Re-laying the bowls with a new waterproof membrane
  • Repairing and re-pointing the stonework
  • Refurbishing the pumps and pipework
  • Replacing redundant light fittings with a new lighting system

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture, said: “This work was absolutely essential to restore a much loved Birmingham landmark to its former glory.

“The people of Birmingham love Dhruva Mistry's River Goddess Fountain and the Floozie as she's more commonly known is also hugely popular with visitors to our city.

“The work is a long term solution to the problems uncovered by the survey. We could have simply repaired the fountain bowls but that solution was little more than a sticking plaster for the wider issues.

“Now we can look forward to the fountain looking better than ever in time for the start of the Frankfurt Christmas Market - which will return to Victoria Square in just a few weeks' time.”

Chris Rice, Head of Heritage Services, added: “This work secures the long term future of what is a hugely popular piece of public art and a truly iconic part of the city's landscape.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The finished restoration project was signed off on November 4 and the fountain will be operational from November 5.

Designed by renowned sculptor Dhruva Mistry, the River Goddess Fountain was installed as the centrepiece of the Victoria Square restoration project in 1993.

In and around the fountain are four works:

The River
Sat in the upper pool, is a monumental female figure representing the life force. The figure has been nicknamed ‘The Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ and weighs 1.75 tonnes. The River is also a fountain – one of the largest in Europe – with a flow of 3,000 gallons per minute.

Youth
At the bottom of the fountain feature are 2 smaller figures representing youth, also by Mistry.

The Guardians
Two Sphinx-like animals made from the same Darley Dale stone as the Council House. They were carved by the carving workshop in Cambridge.

Two abstract pillars, with lamps, complete Mistry’s design. He has declined to comment on their meaning.

Around the rim of the upper pool is a quotation from Burnt Norton, one of the Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot:

And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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