Yet another sign of queer culture erosion in San Francisco? Bite your tongue. Hard. Keith Haring's colorful sculpture at Third and Howard in SoMa has been temporarily removed as part of a necessary restoration effort. According to the San Francisco Arts Commission, "The sculpture was removed for a comprehensive restoration that will include: cleaning, removing vandalism such as tagging, addressing any corrosion issues, and a complete repainting."

Best of all, the sculpture will get a makeover with light that will illuminate the critical piece come nightfall. The project is being funded with a $65,000 grant from the Keith Haring Foundation and an estimated $10,000 in private donations to ArtCare, San Francisco's fund dedicated to the care and maintenance of the Civic Art Collection.

"We are so grateful to the Keith Haring Foundation and to our ArtCare donors for making this restoration possible," said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. "San Francisco is home to one of the most prestigious public art collections in the country. However, in recent years, we’ve had to find creative ways to raise the funds we need to provide a high level of care to a collection that is aging and vulnerable to the elements. I hope this recent success inspires people to share the responsibility of caring for this collection so that it can be enjoyed for years to come."

Look for Haring's work to reemerge in the summer of 2012.

[via Curbed]