The 'Chain Reaction' sculpture in the Civic Center has been granted landmark status by the Landmarks Commission.

CIVIC CENTER —In the wake of the City Council vote that extended the deadline for one year to allow activists time to raise money to save the sculpture “Chain Reaction,” Dave Conrad and Jerry Rubin will be awarded the first-ever Advocacy Award by the Santa Monica Conservancy during the group’s annual meeting next month.

Conrad, son of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Paul Conrad, who designed “Chain Reaction,” and Rubin, a local peace activist, have been working tirelessly for the past year to preserve the controversial piece. They went to the Landmarks Commission and won landmark status for the sculpture, making it the first landmarked artwork in Santa Monica.

Conrad and Rubin are humbled by the recognition they have received.

“[T]his is an honor and a true recognition of the importance of saving and restoring ‘Chain Reaction,'” Rubin said in an e-mail.

City officials have been resistant to using limited public art funds to repair the piece, which some believe has sustained extensive damage as a result of exposure to the elements over the last 20 years. Some estimates have put the cost as high as $555,000.

A lower figure, by conservator Steve Colton, was only $85,000.

The conservancy’s annual meeting and preservation awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24. from 2 p.m. — 4 p.m. Eight other awards will be given during the ceremony.

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