PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a new, old goat in town and he goes by the name Billy! Billy the Goat has returned to his home in Rittenhouse Square.
The 104-year-old sculpture that has served as a fixture in Philadelphia since 1919 is officially taking a break from acting as the park’s go-to goat.
Created in 1914 by Philadelphia-native Albert Laessle, the sculpture was modeled after a real-life goat that had been a popular attraction for children at Rittenhouse Square’s petting zoo in the city’s past.
The original sculpture became tarnished over the years as children played on him, tourists took pictures posing with him, and he bore inclement weather season after season.
In an effort to give the original Billy the Goat sculpture a break, he has been moved across the street from Rittenhouse Square to the Philadelphia City Institute Library’s children’s room.
Mayor Jim Kenney made an appearance during Friday morning’s unveiling.
“Here’s to decades more of great pictures and unique character in the park,” Kenney tweeted.
The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy oversaw the conservation of Billy the Goat and were at Friday morning’s unveiling.
A free event, hosted by the Friends of Rittenhouse Square, will be open to the public Saturday to celebrate the new Billy the Goat’s arrival in the square but has sold out according to the event’s page.
Saturday’s celebration will include exotic animals, a petting zoo, live performances and entertainment, and, of course, plenty of photo opportunities with the new Billy the Goat.
On Monday, the Philadelphia City Institute will host a story time for children to welcome Billy.
A twin of Billy the Goat is displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center in Washington, D.C.