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Il Porcellino, meaning ‘the little pig’, is a larger than life-sized bronze wild boar, anatomically realistic and resting on its left haunch and front legs. It is located outside the Sydney’s oldest hospital, Sydney Hospital, facing Macquarie Street. The sculpture is an exact replica of an original by Pietro Tacca which has stood in Florence, Italy, since circa 1633, and is given the local Florentine nickname il porcellino.

The boar stands over a pool containing representations of tortoises, snakes, frogs, snails, lizards and crabs. In front is a cast iron fountain receptacle. The boar and the fountain sit on a sandstone base, approximately 1.8 metres squared, and the whole is approximately 1.6 metres high.

The monument in Florence is believed to bring good luck if visitors put a coin into the boar’s gaping jaws, with the intent to let it fall through the underlying grating, and they rub the boar’s snout to ensure a return to Florence. Money collected from the monument was used to fund a hospital in Florence. In Sydney, as in Florence, donations go to assist the work of the hospital.

Next time you are in the city, go show our local boar some love and help out Sydney Hospital.


IMAGE CREDIT: Richard F. Ebert and Peter Murphy

a dog sitting in front of a statue