Editor:

City Hall has been less than cooperative as it pertains to the status of the donated outdoor sculpture “Chain Reaction.” A piece of art gifted to Santa Monica valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at the time of acceptance, why was this sculpture left to deteriorate? (“Council gives ‘Chain Reaction’ 1 more year,” Jan. 24)

All city properties have a maintenance cost. Streets, roads, sidewalks and other public works need to be maintained and repaired when necessary. Could you imagine if the federal government took the same position as it pertains to outdoor structures such as the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument — in which untold millions, more money spent on renovations than the original cost of these structures — as an excuse to demand private donations be the source of funding for a public responsibility?

Just who are these nameless and faceless bureaucrats that advise and persuade Santa Monica elected officials into such mindless public policy?

The point of publicly displayed art is to generate controversy, discussion and debate. Paul Conrad’s “Chain Reaction” does exactly that. Why would Santa Monica officials use their inability to maintain this city treasure as a flimsy excuse to remove the sculpture?

It’s pretty obvious to the naked eye certain Santa Monica officials want to remove a controversial statue under the guise of cost. It’s a manufactured excuse to dumb down an honest discussion as to why “Chain Reaction” was not maintained or renovated by Santa Monica since accepting this gift many years ago.

I’m hopeful the elected officials of Santa Monica will not become the first group of city fathers not to accept the city’s financial responsibility to maintain this iconic piece of American history and the battle to reduce the level of nuclear proliferation here and around the world.

 

 

NJ Antonicello

Venice, Calif.