The Golden Boy atop the Manitoba Legislative building in Winnipeg, Canada.
The interesting history of The Golden Boy.
The Golden Boy statue is 5.25 metres (17.2 feet) tall from the toe to the top of the torch and 4.27 metres (14 feet) from head to toe. It weighs 1650 kg (3,640 lb), and the top of his torch is 77 metres (250 feet) above ground. It is perched facing North on the dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and it is arguably Manitoba's best known symbol.
The statue was purchased by Manitoba Government from France. It was sculpted by Charles Gardet of Paris in 1918, and cast in bronze by the Barbidienne Foundry. It was placed in a ship's hold for transport to Canada. However, the ship was commandeered for service in World War I, so the statue remained in the ship's hold for the whole war travelling back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean. The statue finally landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was shipped by train to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he was placed atop the Legislative Building on November 21, 1919.
In the 1951 the bronze statue was gilded with twenty-four carat gold. In 1966, the government of the Province of Manitoba had an electric lamp installed into the torch of the statue. The light on his torch was first lit on December 31, 1966 to mark Canada's centennial.
In 2002, the statue needed repair due to rust on its iron supports and was lowered to the ground for a complete overhaul and re-gilding. On February 9, 2002, the Golden Boy returned to the ground in a custom made aluminum cage after having been on top of the Manitoba Legislative Building for almost 83 years. The statue was prepared for the re-gilding with a custom manufactured paint from Germany. In August 2002, the statue was re-gilded with 23.75 k gold leaf in a climate-controlled enclosure in full view of the public. In the course of a refurbishment, it was discovered the cable supplying power to the lamp also contributed to the erosion of the statue. The Golden Boy is now lit at night by floodlights.
The Golden Boy was returned to the Manitoba Legislative Building and re-installed on the dome on September 5, 2002, and rededicated by Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, during her 2002 Golden Jubilee tour of Canada.