Fort Worth council delays vote on public art piece

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The cost of moving a donated piece of art from Chicago to the front of the Municipal Court building in downtown Fort Worth has more than doubled, causing the City Council to delay authorizing the project Tuesday.

The council originally approved spending $60,000 in October 2012 for the cost of moving, storing and installing the bright-yellow, 13-foot-diameter metal sculpture.

But on Tuesday, the staff said the cost has risen to at least $137,448, setting off concern in the council.

Councilman Jungus Jordan made the motion to delay authorizing the funding increase until May 6.

“I think we could have researched a little better. It originally was going to be free if we transported it,” Jordan said. “We have got some real issues.”

Jordan said he wants to know exactly how much the project will cost.

“The price tag kept going up and up and up, and we just think it is fair for the council to be briefed on what’s happened,” Jordan said. “What is the chronology? What is the history? Why is this something that was supposedly free now come up to a price tag of $137,000 when it is only valued at $150,000?”

The piece, the Tabachin Ribbon, was donated by artist Yvonne Domenge.

Martha Peters, vice president of public art for the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, said the artwork is costing more to store and install than initially planned.

“Some unexpected costs came up,” Peters told council members, saying that an issue with a basement under the Municipal Court Plaza and a utility easement have made the installation more costly.

The artwork also needs to be repainted, she said, because it was damaged while being transported to Fort Worth.

The Tabachin Ribbon is one of six sculptures commissioned for temporary exhibition at Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2010 and then donated to cities across the country.

Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst

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