FIRST THE CALDERS, Then THE THINKER, NOW JOANIE ON THE PONIE – What is happening to Statues along the Parkway? starts their Fairmount Park tour at Emmanuel Fremiet’s dazzling, gilded bronze Joan of Arc (Joanie on the Pony) on the Kelly Drive side of the river, on the east side of the Philadelphia Museum of art. Bought by the Fairmount Park Art Association in 1890, the monument was at first placed at the east end of the Girard Avenue Bridge. Unappreciated at that location, it was moved to its present one in 1959, after being given its gilt coat in the basement of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.A haunting coincidence adds to the story of the statue. We know that in 1431, the 19-year-old Joan was burned at stake after being captured by the English during a battle in the Hundred Years War. Sculptor Fremiet chose a 15-year-old model, Valerie Laneau, for his sculpture of Joan. When Laneau was 77, she too was burned to death — while trying to light her evening lamp.
A few weeks back I wrote about the Calder garden being dismantled and yesterday I noticed something amiss with The Joan of Arc statue in front of my condo bldg, or Joanie on the Ponie as we like to call her. It seems that the bushes had been removed from the bottom of the statue. I thought maybe they are re-landscaping it, but is that something that should be done during this economy?
I can’t imagine they are cleaning it because it was just done in the last 9 years. I’ve lived at the Philadelphian, the building in the background, for 9 years and I recall it being cleaned once before.

Philadelphia what are you doing to our statues? I love my art, but do they really need to be cleaned during this budget crisis? I’m just guessing they’re cleaning it, I really have no idea what is happening to it. I have several emails into a couple people. Maybe someone can find out where they are going, and why they would take them away at the height of TOURISM SEASON!!
Should we worry about the Rocky Statue next?