Council backs sculpture series plan

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By Mandy Marksteiner

The County Council accepted, with a 5-1 vote, the Historic Scuptures Master Plan Committee’s (HSMPC) 10-year plan for commissioning life-sized historic sculptures to represent five eras of Los Alamos history. 

“The Master Plan lays out a vision for celebrating our rich history,” said Ron Wilkins, the chair of the Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board.

“What we considered was our unique history, from Pueblo times to the Cold War. No one else can tell this story and it’s a story we should tell,” said Linda Deck, the director of the Bradbury Science Museum. 

Meeting in White Rock Tuessday, the council also approved the south wing of Fuller Lodge as the location for Susanne Vertel’s sculptures of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the first laboratory director under the Manhattan Project, and General Leslie R. Groves, of the U.S. Army Corps who oversaw the Manhattan Project.

Councilor Vincent Chiravalle was opposed to the proposal, which calls for 13 more statues.  “My concern is that if the commissions are between $60,000 and $80,000, this plan could cost in excess of half a million dollars. If we approve this plan we may not be able to meet all the other artwork needs of the community,” he said.