Columbia students are signing a petition and speaking out against plans to install a Henry Moore sculpture, "Reclining Figure" (at right in another installation of the sculpture), in a prominent place on campus. "The bronze monument, titled 'Reclining Figure,' was sculpted by the noted English artist Henry Moore. It 'is meant to suggest the form of a woman with her legs outstretched before her, propping herself up with her forearm,'" the petition says. "As both inheritors and wards of our beautiful campus, we object to this desecration of our home. Whatever its artistic merits, the sculpture in front of Butler Library will disrupt an otherwise crisp, geometric and symmetrical landscape. Further, Moore’s modernist figure clashes with the neoclassical aesthetic instantly recognizable to generations of Columbians. It will also rob the community of some of the few precious square yards of grass open to the public."
The university gave this statement to The New York Times: “Discussing the merits of Moore’s sculpture is a conversation quintessentially appropriate for a university community. Successive generations of Columbia students, with their own strong opinions, will no doubt continue debating whether this modernist work of art enhances or diminishes our classically beautiful Morningside campus.”
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