SAN JOSE — City officials have apologized to the creator of a 20-foot metal sculpture that was mistakenly razed more than a year ago, and they've promised the artist $25,000 to make a replacement.
"It's a way of demonstrating that we value our art and our artists," said Councilwoman Shirley Lewis. The council promised sculptor David Botini funds to replace the abstract "Great Planes Study No. 7," which was destroyed during a downtown redevelopment project last year.
Council members have been trying to smooth things over with the arts community and the artist, whom they paid $5,000 to build the sculpture in 1976. But the sculpture's disappearance was not noticed for almost one year, and Councilwoman Lu Ryden was not convinced that the city should pay Botini again. "If his sculpture was that bad that it got torn down because somebody didn't know it was art, I'd like to at least look at some other artists," she said.