By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/8/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A Statue of the Virgin Mary in Long Island is seemingly more appropriate for a Chamber of Horrors. This ghastly 33-foot-tall bronze statue depicts a walking woman whose skin has been ripped away from the right side of her body, exposing skull, muscles and her fetus. On private property, the owner has since draped the statue with a black tarp.
Erected on real estate mogul Aby Rosen's luxurious Old Westbury property, neighbors say the grotesque statue was disrupting their "bucolic views." The piece was designed by British artist Damien Hirst.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Erected on real estate mogul Aby Rosen's luxurious Old Westbury property, neighbors say the grotesque statue was disrupting their "bucolic views." The piece was designed by British artist Damien Hirst.
Old Westbury Mayor Fred Carillo says that he's received half a dozen letters of complaint about the statue. The area is now considering a new height restriction for statues that would keep Mary out of sight.
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"It's out of character with the neighborhood," Carillo says. "We have to appease the residents, they have to preserve their bucolic views. The question is, does it belong in Old Westbury? Does it belong on a residential property?"
Rosen's historic home, the A. Conger Goodyear House, sits on 5.5 acres of land. It's now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The avid art collector bought "The Virgin Mother" statue in 2005. His Manhattan-based real estate investment company, RFR Holding LLC, bought the estate for a whopping $3.4 million in 2011.
Only neighbors and Rosen's guests can see the statue, but as it sits on a conservation easement, the statue may be subject to village rules. Conservation easements protect an area's topography, so the village can prevent owners from adding plants and other structures.
Village officials are considering amending current codes to include a height restriction. Currently "accessory structures" like cabanas or sheds are limited to 25 feet. They say the statue was dropped onto Rosen's property without a permit or architectural review board approval.
Old Westbury's village board will take up the issue at a public hearing next week.
Before its stint in Long Island, "The Virgin Mother" was displayed at the Lever House in midtown Manhattan.
For now, the statue has been covered up. "We don't want to be insensitive," Rosen's landscape architect, David Kelly told reporters.
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