‘Sorry!' It's Game Over for Center City's ‘Your Move' Artwork

For nearly 30 years, the board game-themed art installation 'Your Move' called the plaza outside the Municipal Services Building home. That ended last week

The "Your Move" art installation in Center City will be permanently removed.
City of Philadelphia

It's time for the City of Philadelphia to put away its toys.

For nearly 30 years, the game piece-themed "Your Move" art installation has called the Thomas Paine Plaza outside the Municipal Services Building -- just across the street from City Hall -- home.

But, citing upcoming renovations to the site and ongoing expense for upkeep -- along with the poor conditions of the artwork -- the installation will be permanently removed.

"It is with both gratitude and sadness that the City of Philadelphia shares the news of the deaccession (permanent removal from the City’s public art collection) of the public art installation 'Your Move' from Thomas Paine Plaza due to upcoming renovations to its site, the artwork’s poor condition, and the ongoing expensive costs associated with its maintenance," city officials said in a statement. "We express our gratitude for the great impact that 'Your Move' has had on our community, we understand and share the feelings of loss and sadness experienced by those who have connected deeply with this cherished public art installation. Its removal will certainly create a void for many who appreciate its beauty and significance to Philadelphia and Center City."

The installation was created by Daniel Martinez, Renee Petropoulis, and Roger White, and was commissioned by the city back in 1996 through the Percent for Art Program that requires all city-funded renovation or construction projects designate one percent of the overall budget to site-specific public art.

'Your Move' consists of super-sized versions of game pieces from the board games: Chess, Sorry!, Parcheesi, Monopoly, Bingo, Dominoes, and Checkers.

City officials said that the artists intended “Your Move” as "a reflection of our life journeys, from child’s play to adult obligation." It also was a symbol of human interaction through playing games, officials said in a statement.

According to city officials, the outdoor installation originally included 45 oversized game pieces constructed mostly out of painted fiberglass, painted steel, and concrete and was commissioned for the cost of $195,000 as part of renovations to the Municipal Services Building.

Officials said that, in July, the City’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy sent a letter to the artists to alert them that the installation would be permanently removed.

However, the city said that the artists did not want to repossess “Your Move,” therefore, the game pieces will be disposed of.

According to a statement, officials claim that the materials used in the artwork were "not durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of its high-traffic site, including skateboarding, frequent interactions with the public, and exposure to rain and sunlight."

Over the years, officials said that the installation has required extensive restoration and conservation efforts due to issues of deterioration, graffiti, rusting, and other forms of damage.

In order to being planned renovations to Thomas Paine Plaza -- intended to make it similar to its sister parks, Dilworth Plaza and LOVE Park -- the instillation will be removed, officials said.

The Philadelphia Art Commission approved the removal and disposal of “Your Move” on May 10.

City officials said that removal of the instillation began on May 26.

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