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Oct 28, 2022

A once-forgotten sculpture by renowned Cleveland artist Viktor Schreckengost will be reinstalled at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, nearly 70 years after it was first put there and roughly three decades since it was removed.

City Council on Monday recently approved the reinstallation costs for Schreckengost’s “Time & Space”, which are expected to be around $160,000.

Schreckengost, who died in 2008 at the age of 101, was an industrial designer and sculptor from Cleveland, who was a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and long-time faculty member. His mid-20th century works have been displayed at museums around the nation, including the well-known Mammoth and Mastodon sculptures that were moved to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

He was commissioned to create the 15-piece “Time & Space” artwork in 1956 for the airport. The sculpture, made from steel rods and aluminum, depicts the twelve signs of the Zodiac, as well as the Earth, moon and a gold-leaf sun. It was placed above the then-new entryway as an homage to the way early travelers used the stars to navigate.

When the airport was renovated in the early 1990s, workers dismantled the piece and stored it away in a warehouse.

When city officials re-discovered the sculpture a decade or so ago, they found that the years in storage had damaged it, resulting in layers of dust and corrosion.

The city in 2012 sought to restore it, with plans to display it somewhere in City Hall. City Council in 2015 approved a roughly $60,000 contract for the restoration work by the Intermuseum Conservation Association.

The painstaking process was complete by 2019, restoring the piece to its original condition and an appraised value of $300,000.

Since its rediscovery and restoration, the sculpture has been stored in the Intermuseum Conservation Association’s climate-controlled facility to avoid further damage, the records say.

Airport officials had intended to reinstall the sculpture at the airport in 2020, but the pandemic stalled the plans until now, according to council records.

The restored piece is expected to be installed near the airport’s Central Checkpoint.