Town takes down 'Stonefridge' sculpture

Saturday, June 9, 2007

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Goodbye, Stonefridge. Or Fridgehenge, if you prefer.

A sculpture of more than 100 old refrigerators, stacked and arranged like England's Stonehenge, was removed by the city last week.

Strong wind had toppled much of the 80-foot-high, graffiti-covered structure, and city and state officials found that it had become a health and safety hazard.

Officials in this artists' haven had only reluctantly let Adam Horowitz create the public art work nearly a decade ago. But it had become a cult phenomenon and a tourist destination, featured on television and in print worldwide.

The piece was dismantled May 30. Horowitz said he returned Wednesday from overseas and got a telephone call saying, "Hey, man, it's just gone."

City spokeswoman Laura Banish said Stonefridge was never meant to be permanent. Neighbors complained, she said.

"It started out as a statement about American consumerism and waste, and then it sort of became waste itself," she said.

Exactly, Horowitz said.

"I always had debated with the bureaucrats who would ask, 'Is it art or is it garbage?' and I'd say, 'Yes, that's the point,"' he said.

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