The letters recently published (August 29) in The Times on proposed plans to design and build a privately funded monument, which will artistically celebrate the ethnic and cultural diversity of Los Angeles, express criticisms that are based on misconceptions about the Gateway project.
The committee that I appointed to conceive, design and build a welcoming symbol to those who have come to Los Angeles over the past 207 years--and who because of their richly diverse cultural backgrounds have enriched the life of this city--was given the freedom to develop their ideas for the project.
Their one clear direction was that the project would not receive any city funds for the program. All of the money, whatever the cost, must be solicited through private gifts.
Any committee that raises money and anyone who contributes to a monument, such as the $70-million renovation of the Statue of Liberty or this welcoming symbol for Los Angeles, may choose how these funds are to be spent. I regret that the writers of the letters did not understand the matter, and thus reacted based on incorrect information.
Any questions about the project should be directed to the independent West Coast Gateway Committee.