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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

MacARTHUR PARK : City Bans New Artwork in Park Pending Cleanup

August 05, 1994

MacArthur Park is not typically considered the artistic center of Los Angeles, but city officials this week imposed a moratorium on the placement of art within the park, saying it has become cluttered with cultural wares.

There are more than 25 statues, plaques, murals and fountains within MacArthur Park, which officials say stems from the park's proximity to the Otis-Parsons Institute of Art and Design.

"The park is literally cluttered with art work, most of which is in dire need of repair and restoration," Jackie Tatum, general manager of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, said in a report. "The addition of more art will only contribute to the problem."

Tatum said maintenance shortages and changes in the surrounding neighborhood have changed the park considerably since much of the artwork went up a decade ago as part of the MacArthur Park Public Art Program. The moratorium will last until the park's condition is improved and the artwork already there is restored.

One remnant on its way out of the park is the pedestal of a statue of King Carlos III of Spain, which sits on a grassy knoll in the park's southwestern corner. The statue itself was moved to Olvera Street in 1987 but the base remained, becoming a favorite target of vandals. This week, the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners ordered it removed.

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