Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square will temporarily lose its iconic fountain as part of a year-long project to restore the area.
On Sunday city workers began taking apart Yaacov Agam’s famous “Fire and Water” fountain, which has graced the city’s Dizengoff Square for decades. On Wednesday night the square will be closed as the artwork is moved in the early hours of Thursday morning to its new location, near the city’s Reading Power Station.
Workers took apart the landmark, also known as the Dizengoff Square Fountain, panel by rainbow-colored panel.
Paris-based Agam, the highest-selling Israeli artist, is known for his colorful, abstract, kinetic art.
The fountain, which took 10 years to construct, was dedicated by the artist in 1986. Over the years it has drawn criticism for the high maintenance costs, and despite a 2012 renovation it had fallen into a state of disrepair.
The fountain is being moved as part of a reconstruction project by the Tel Aviv Council to redevelop the famous Dizengoff Square which is one of the city’s best known areas. It stands at the intersection of Dizengoff Street, Reines Street and Pinsker Street.
The square, which is actually a circular plaza, was first built in 1934. In 1978 it was redesigned to include a pedestrian area with the raised fountain to allow traffic to flow beneath it. The redesign was the initiative of then mayor Shlomo Lahat, who subsequently said that was the one mayoral decision he regretted.
In 2016 the Tel Aviv municipality decided to restore the plaza and the fountain to ground level in an attempt to beautify and redevelop the area.
Lowering the plaza is expected to cost NIS 60 million.
We are GO on the renovation of the Dizengoff Square! pic.twitter.com/hkUIrBk1Df
— Tel Aviv (@TelAviv) December 20, 2016
The plan is to restore and return Agam’s fountain at the end of 2017 once the renovations are complete.