FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jay Goulde, Executive Director
Outdoor Arts Foundation
(727) 723-8620 – Office
(813) 245-8538 – Mobile
First Berlin Wall Commemorative Monument to be Erected at St. Pete Clay
SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. – (Feb. 20, 2008) – The Outdoor Arts Foundation (OAF) announced today that their first Berlin Wall Commemorative Monument, standing 10' high and 8' wide, will be erected on Tuesday, Feb. 26th, between 11am and 2pm at the St. Petersburg Clay Company, located at 420 22nd St. South in St. Petersburg.
With the assistance of a crane and forklift, a construction team will lower the last of three authentic Berlin Wall concrete slabs into the framing structure, where they will remain on permanent public display Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10am to 5pm.
In June of 2007, OAF acquired the world's largest private collection of Berlin Wall sections from the East side of the Wall, consisting of 350 full-size slabs and 90 fragmented sections painted by three Russian artists. The scientific research firm CTL Group, based in Skokie, IL, chemically authenticated the sections in February of 2007.
While several sections from the West German side of the Wall are on permanent exhibition at museums in New York and the Ronald Reagan Presidential library, this collection represents the first sections from the East German side of the Berlin Wall to be permanently exhibited in the United States.
Three full-size slabs will be used to create the monument at St. Pete Clay and all future monuments – exact replicas of what these sections looked like when they were in Berlin. A clay tablet with a brass plaque denoting the dates that the Berlin Wall existed (Aug. 13, 1961 – Nov. 9, 1989) will be located next to the monument.
"These monuments are not only a piece of history, but serve as a tribute to what the fall of the Wall represented, creating a unique opportunity to reflect upon what it means to be morally and civically responsible," said Foundation Board President Lenne Nicklaus-Ball. "Our goal is to have a minimum of one monument in each of the 48 contiguous States by the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall."
To make certain the monuments would be both historically accurate and structurally sound, OAF turned to Brian Slator of MSP Architecture for the design. Meticulous attention was given towards ensuring that what would be constructed would properly depict the actual Berlin Wall.
"The biggest challenge was extracting a single component from an entire engineering system and allowing the monument to stand on its own without compromising the aesthetic of its original construction," said Slator.
Funding to build the monument was provided by Beth Morean, one of the owners of the St. Petersburg Clay Company, and Jack Jawitz, a physician based in Bradenton. St. Petersburg-based Flaherty Construction will be building and erecting the monument.
To learn more information about the Berlin Wall Monuments, as well as other OAF projects involving the Berlin Wall, please visit www.outdoorartsfoundation.com or call OAF Executive Director Jay Goulde at (727) 723-8620.
The Outdoor Arts Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization whose goal is to create art-in-public places projects throughout the world in partnership with corporations, individual art patrons, and in close connection with public officials.