They're back! The Sea Nymphs, or Oceanides, were returned to Fairy Bower pool last week, and this time they're here to stay, with the sculptures made of beautiful, unbreakable bronze.
The artwork, created 20 years ago by sculptor Helen Leete, was destroyed beyond repair in a huge storm last year.
But the Northern Beaches community was not prepared to let the iconic creation die, and the Save Our Sea Nymphs committee was formed.
"I was delighted to be part of this enthusiastic group of artists and local residents," Good for Manly President and newly elected Northern Beaches Councillor Candy Bingham said. "We worked very closely with the original artist Helen Leete, and Clive Calder, from Australia Bronze Art Gallery and Foundry up at North Head, where the new bronze statues were eventually poured.
"Early on I was able to get the support of the Northern Beaches Council administrator to underwrite half of the reconstruction costs. That was a huge help, as we needed $80,000 all up to recreate the sculptures in a way that would last - in bronze."
In the end, the community was easily up to the task. A whopping $57,000 was raised from art lovers and locals who wanted to see the 'sisters' returned to their rock platform.
A limited edition of mini nymph sculptures, individually created by Ms Leete, were a big part of the success. The miniatures sold out on the night they were released, contributing $27,000 to the cause.
Now the nymphs are back, and they have immediately become part of the action.
Their reinstatement was featured on ABC news, and this week they were on almost every TV channel and newspaper, when Fairy Bower pool was used to resuscitate an injured great white shark.
"After the shark was gone, I went down to have another look at them, and they just looked great," Cr Bingham said. "The bronze, with its sea-green patina is fabulous, and it will look even better as it starts to age.
"And absolutely everybody that was going past was stopping to have a look and usually take a photo. Everyone seemed so happy they were back."
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.