A sculpture by the British artist Henry Moore that faced criticism from students who opposed its placement on Butler Lawn last semester will instead be installed outside of Havemeyer Hall.
University President Lee Bollinger announced the newly decided location of the sculpture—titled “Reclining Figure”—at a University Senate plenary on Friday, walking back the University’s initial plan to place the statue near the entrance to Butler Library.
“This is one of those things that should be a very nice thing for the institution, and is a nice thing for the institution, but sort of became a point of controversy,” Bollinger said of the sculpture, which was given to the University as a gift. “It just wasn’t handled in the right way… Nobody’s at fault.”
Following the first announcement of plans for the sculpture last March, a small group of students expressed outrage at the statue’s appearance and lack of student input surrounding its placement.
Opposition to the sculpture gained momentum after four students penned a Spectator op-ed decrying its placement. The same students circulated a petition calling to halt the sculpture’s installment, which garnered over 1,200 signatures and made national headlines.
The statue will be located by the Scholar’s Lion statue that currently stands in front of Havemeyer.
“Happily, the donors [of the sculpture] appear very gracious in allowing that shift in the location of the Henry Moore sculpture and it appears that we have arrived at a very good solution. And I do not welcome any dissent at this point,” Bollinger said with a smile.
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