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Conrad’s Chain Reaction sculpture not a safety concern

Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic, notes that the reasoning behind Santa Barbara’s push to remove Paul Conrad’s Chain Reaction sculpture from Santa Monica Civic Center is suspect.

A misguided ? and perhaps underhanded ? move is afoot to dismantle Paul Conrad’s “Chain Reaction,” a 26-foot-tall sculpture that has stood in place in the Santa Monica Civic Center since 1991.

Why remove the sculpture? Not because of defensible safety concerns.

A scary-looking fence with red “Danger” signs rings the sculpture, but the structural engineer hired last year by Santa Monica officials to evaluate the work declared in no uncertain terms that he is “of the opinion that the sculpture is not an imminent hazard nor should it be considered dangerous.”

Lots of good background information in his piece including the explanation that the $400,000 price tag to “restore” the sculpture is a dollar amount not based on any good estimate but to make it difficult for the Santa Monica Arts Commission, who is in charge of maintenance, to afford it.

The sculpture is a great piece of art and should be preserved for future generations. There is a committee tasked with raising the $400,000. It could use all the help it can get. Head over to SAVE CHAIN REACTION to learn how you can help out in the cause.

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