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`The Bean' gets name, September finish date
British sculptor Anish Kapoor, in town briefly for the fitting of the final stainless-steel plates on his massive piece under construction in Millennium Park, has named the work "Cloud Gate" and said it will "almost certainly not be fully finished" until September.
"The problem of outdoor sculpture--more so in contemporary times than in periods gone by--is that it needs to determine for itself a purpose," Kapoor said. "This piece hovers between architecture and sculpture. It is a kind of gate, and when completed, three-quarters of its surface will be [reflections of] sky. So it naturally suggested `Cloud Gate,' even though some people will probably still call it `The Bean,'" its popular nickname since the project's inception.
The last plate at the top of the sculpture was fitted on Monday. The more than 100 plates must be welded and polished to give the piece a seamless, reflective surface.
"A work like this had never been created," Kapoor said, "and it was impossible to quantify how long it would take. It will probably be finished in September."
Opening ceremonies for the park are scheduled for July 16-18, during which period the current enclosure will be removed. After that, a smaller tent, possibly inflatable, will be erected until the work is complete.
"I think there will be a formal dedication [in September]," said Ed Uhlir, project design director for Millennium Park, "but it is too early to pin down the exact date."