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City Council to Spend $75K to Study 'Chain Reaction' Sculpture's Stability

The late Paul Conrad, a Pulitzer Prize- winning cartoonist, designed the artwork, the future of which has been in doubt since 2011.

City Council to Spend $75K to Study 'Chain Reaction' Sculpture's Stability

The Santa Monica City Council voted tonight to accept more than $100,000 in donations collected by supporters of the late Paul Conrad's "Chain Reaction" sculpture and authorized spending as much as $75,000 to complete a study of the sculpture's stability.

The mushroom-cloud-shaped sculpture designed by the Pulitzer Prize- winning cartoonist as a warning against the proliferation of nuclear weapons was given to the city in 1991 and sits in front of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

An inscription on the work reads, "This is a statement of peace. May it never become an epitaph."

Questions about the safety of the sculpture arose in 2011 when kids were found climbing on it. The city eventually recommended that the sculpture be taken down.

However, backers of the artwork, led by activist Jerry Rubin, began a signature-gathering and fundraising drive two years ago.

At its meeting tonight, the City Council voted 6-1, with Councilman Robert Holbrook dissenting, to accept the $101,290 raised by supporters of the sculpture and approved the $75,000 safety study and authorized its staff to develop a plan to restore the work and develop a landscape barrier around it.

--City News Service

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