BBC News

Landmark Rocky Steps facing revamp

image copyrightRex Features
image captionThe fictional boxer has run up the staircase in all but one of the six Rocky films

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has unveiled proposals to revamp the stairs made famous in the 1976 film Rocky.

The plans are part of a major expansion which will include a series of underground galleries.

Frank Gehry, best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has proposed putting a large window at the centre of the flight of stairs nicknamed the 'Rocky Steps'.

However, it is "not a done deal", the architect told reporters on Thursday.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe museum houses works by the likes of Renoir, Dali, Monet and JW Turner

"It's something to talk about," he added.

The steps, upon which boxer Rocky Balboa memorably trains, remain one of the city's key tourist attractions.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionVisitors climb the steps and strike a 'Rocky' pose, as footballer Edwin van der Sar did in 2010

Visitors often re-enact the scene in which Rocky actor Sylvester Stallone raises his hands in triumph at the summit.

Officials at the museum said they anticipated some reaction to the proposal to change the 72 steps.

The neo-classical building, which was completed in 1928, will undergo extensive renovation should Gehry's proposal go ahead.

The 24-foot (7.3 metre) window, which Gehry has dubbed "a window to the city", would form a link to a series of underground galleries intended to significantly expand the museum.

Creating the underground galleries would involve excavating large sections of the hill on which the museum stands, to allow the museum to show off more of its collection of 230,000 objects.

An exhibition showcasing Gehry's design opens at the museum on 1 July.

Related Topics

  • Philadelphia
  • Film
  • Art

More on this story

  • Rocky makes strong debut on Broadway