Public Art: Moving the Not-So-Great Wall

Moving the Not-So-Great Wall

Considering the impression that many people form when they first see the sculpture -- that they have somehow wandered onto an unsightly construction project -- the controversy over Richard Serra's Tilted Arc was understandable. Commissioned by the General Services Administration at a cost of more than $175,000, the unbroken 12-ft.-high wall of rust-patinaed steel stretches 120 ft. across Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan, forcing thousands of pedestrians to hike around it. Since the installation of Tilted Arc in 1981, more than 7,000 office workers have signed petitions demanding the work's removal. During a series of public hearings last March, numerous artists...

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