MIDTOWN — A pair of heroes are set to take a stand outside Bryant Park this month.
"The Guardians: Hero and Superhero," two 13-foot-high statues by acclaimed Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, were scheduled to be installed outside Bryant Park later this month, gifts from the Italian government to the United States to celebrate the closing of "The Year of Italian Culture."
An opening reception was to be held Dec. 10, and the sculptures will remain on view indefinitely.
"Hero," made from stacked marble slates, is an interpretation of Michelangelo's "David," the symbolic defender of the city of Florence, organizers said.
Weighing about 8,000 pounds, the work "will gaze uptown from 42nd Street as a protector of the past," organizers said in a press release.
"Its counterpart, 'Superhero,' who dons a cape as an icon of the present, watches over downtown from 41st Street. It is made of stainless steel and weights 15,000 pounds."
"Hero," fabricated by Precision Stone on Long Island, was donated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., and the Consulate General of Italy in New York. "Superhero," fabricated by Milgo Bufkin in Greenpoint, was commissioned by Equity Office.
“I wanted to create two symbolic protectors of New York City that celebrate the superhuman and the inspiration that it channels," Saracino said in a statement. Their layered design, he added, shows "the universal ability of mankind to cement its own presence in the world with its perennial construction skills.”