Sculpture hit by drunk driver is repaired

This steel sculpture by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art was damaged when it was hit by a drunk driver in June 2013.
This steel sculpture by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art was damaged when it was hit by a drunk driver in June 2013.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – A large steel sculpture damaged by a truck that barreled across the lawn of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art has been repaired and could return home soon.

The abstract steel sculpture “Helmholtz” depicting a bull could be back in the city between mid-May and late June, museum Executive Director Charles A. Shepard III told The News-Sentinel.

Police said the sculpture by the FWMOA was hit by a drunk driver in June 2013.
Police said the sculpture by the FWMOA was hit by a drunk driver in June 2013.

The 8-ton, 26-foot-tall sculpture made largely of steel I-beams was damaged last June 16 when police say Colton Adamonis of Fort Wayne drove into it. The sculpture was taken apart in August and shipped by truck to the Petaluma, Calif., studio of artist Mark di Suvero for repair by the sculptor and his staff.

“They were able to fix it perfectly,” Shepard said.

Police said Adamonis hit sculpture while driving a truck.

When it returns to Fort Wayne depends on how soon di Suvero’s staff can take it apart, load it on a truck and drive it to the city, Shepard said. He should know more about its arrival date within the next two weeks.

“We’d like to get it delivered and installed before the Three Rivers Festival,” he said.

If it can’t be done before the festival in mid-July, the museum will wait until after the event because cranes and other equipment needed to install “Helmholtz” could pose a danger to festival-goers, Shepard said.

The art museum wanted di Suvero to repair the piece to preserve its artistic integrity and market value. The work, which has been part of the museum’s collection since 1985, would have been valued at $1 million to $1.5 million before the damage, Shepard has said.

This is what the sculpture looked like before it was hit.
This is what the sculpture looked like before it was hit.

Once in Fort Wayne, “Helmholtz” will return to its location in Freimann Square beside the Arts United Center, Shepard said. There will be changes aimed at preventing future damage: di Suvero wants to attach it to the concrete pads on which it stands, rather than merely resting on them, Shepard said.

The museum’s insurance company also wants it to install a concrete bench or other barrier to prevent vehicles from hitting “Helmholtz,” Shepard said.

Shepard has said previously that no city or tax dollars would be used to repair the sculpture. The costs were paid by the museum’s insurance policy and by Adamonis’ insurance, he said.

Information from: The News-Sentinel

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