Bean is coming out of its shell

The Bean has been seen.

Almost completely, that is.

A tent has shrouded the 110-ton Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park the last eight months, but no longer will the Bean, as it is affectionately known, be shelled.

The tent started vanishing Monday. On Tuesday, most of the scaffolding and tent ribs disappeared. All the remaining tent parts are to be trucked off Wednesday, if the weather remains dry.

Public admittance to Cloud Gate is to begin Sunday.

Work crews have been busy welding and grinding the sculpture's seams. They've also had to sand and polish along the 168 stainless steel plates--quite a lot of polish when you consider the Anish Kapoor sculpture is 66 feet long, 42 feet wide and 33 feet high.

"People will be amazed when they see the difference between what Cloud Gate looked like when it opened last summer and how it looks today," Helen Doria, Millennium Park's executive director, said in a statement. "Visitors to Millennium Park will be able to see the seamless reflection of the Chicago skyline as Anish Kapoor intended."

Although the work during the last few months has been intense, the city says the piece is only about 70 percent complete.

On Oct. 3, crews will return to finish polishing the underside of the sculpture known as the "omphalos."

Plenty of time to figure out how to pronounce omphalos, which was a stone representing the navel of the earth.

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jageorge@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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