The Sydney monument was saved – twice
The Sydney monument took a prominent position in Martin’s garden for decades until WWII when his land was taken over by the military and it seemed destined for demolition. Sydney Morning Herald journalist Fritz Burnell started a campaign to save the monument, resulting in then Premier William McKell relocating it to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in 1943.
After 148 years of wind and rain overlooking Sydney Harbour, the monument had fallen into a state of decay. Luckily, local philanthropists John and Patricia Azarias undertook a mission to save it for a second time in 2014. They set up the Lysicrates Foundation to help fund its restoration from private donors, and the NSW Government Stonework program matched funds dollar for dollar.
The surface of one of the stones telling the story of Dionysus had lost all its detail so had to be re-carved, while restoration of the remaining two stones focused on slowing the rate of deterioration while protecting and retaining as much of the original sandstone as possible. In October 2016 the monument’s $600,000 facelift was unveiled.