Thursday, October 07, 2004

$40,000 library mural misspells names--------------------

The Associated Press

October 7, 2004

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- It didn't take a nuclear physicist to realize
changes were needed after a $40,000 ceramic mural was unveiled outside the
city's new library and everyone could see the misspelled names of
Einstein, Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and seven other
historical figures.

"Our library director is very frustrated that she has this lovely new
library and it has all these misspellings in front," said city
councilwoman Lorraine Dietrich, one of three council members who voted Monday to
authorize paying another $6,000, plus expenses, to fly the artist up
from Miami to fix the errors.

Reached at her Miami studio Wednesday by The Associated Press, Maria
Alquilar said she was willing to fix the brightly colored 16-foot-wide
circular work, but offered no apologizes for the 11 misspellings among
the 175 names.

"The importance of this work is that it is supposed to unite people,"
Alquilar said. "They are denigrating my work and the purpose of this

Alquilar said it took her quite a bit of her own time and money to
create and install the work, and that it sat idle at her Santa Cruz studio
for two years until the city cleared the way for its installation.

There were plenty of people around during the installation who could
and should have seen the missing and misplaced letters, she said.

"Even though I was on my hands and knees laying the installation out, I
didn't see it," she said.

The mistakes wouldn't even register with a true artisan, Alquilar said.

"The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake's concept of
enlightenment, they are not looking at the words," she said. "In their
mind the words register correctly."

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Copyright (c) 2004, The Associated Press

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