Upper Arlington

City should rethink plan for sculpture garden

To the Editor:

I am writing to inform the citizens of Upper Arlington, particularly those who live in the beautiful neighborhood just south of Lane Avenue around Parkway Park that the Cultural Arts Division has plans to install nine works by Alfred Tibor in this small strip of land.

I urge you to study the issue and join me in opposing this plan.

The small park would be cluttered with the installation as proposed. The gently sloping natural surface is not sufficient for creating what is proposed to be a sculpture garden.

My second objection is to the acquisition of this work in the first place. Upper Arlington has already invested $4,000 in contracting with Columbus Art Memorial to move the work from Mr. Tibor's possession to storage at their facility. According to Ms. Santoro-Au, Arts manager for Upper Arlington, the work is valued at $450,000.

How was this figure derived? Was it solely provided by Mr. Tibor?

It would be appropriate to have at least two independent and reputable art dealers verify this figure before we continue to spend more money on the installation and anchoring of the work. Although I am certain Mr. Tibor is grateful that Upper Arlington has relieved him of this inventory, I believe that it would be in the interest of sound public policy to know what the total cost (or at least an estimate, as it must be bid upon) of installation and anchoring of said works before we commit any further to keeping this "gift."

I urge citizens to study these works and dubious "gift" from Mr. Tibor and block the plan for installation in Upper Arlington. I suggest that the "gift" be returned and that the city not spend any more money on storage or installation.

The highly charged emotional context for the work that is offered by Mr. Tibor should not influence the city's decision to accept this "gift." I prefer to leave emotion out of financial decisions.

What is the cost for installing, anchoring and maintaining this public art? The figure is currently $4,000 and although I have requested a projection of cost to date I have not received a reply.

Sheila M. Fagan
Upper Arlington