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Michael Heizer’s ‘Levitated Mass’ will soon journey to LACMA

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Things are getting ready to roll, quite literally, for LACMA‘s ‘Levitated Mass.’

On Thursday the museum led a hard-hat press tour to Stone Valley Quarry in Riverside to meet the object of its affection: a 340-ton, 21 1/2-foot-high granite boulder. “The monolith,” as LACMA calls it, will form the centerpiece of the outdoor sculpture-in-progress, “Levitated Mass” by artist Michael Heizer on the LACMA campus.

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At Thursday’s quarry visit, Rick Albrecht of Emmert International, the firm that is transporting the boulder, explained that it will travel in a custom-built transporter, at night only, and average seven miles a day. The approximately 85-mile journey, normally a 1 1/2-hour drive, will take a circuitous route lasting a week to 10 days. Altogether, 50 to 60 people –- drivers, utility crews and police escorts among them –- will travel with the rock caravan.

The entire project, including the boulder, construction on the sculpture’s site and transport, will cost between $5 million and $10 million, said museum director Michael Govan. It’s largely being funded by private donations and through Hanjin Shipping.


The transporter is currently under construction; it will likely be 200 feet long and almost three freeway lanes wide.

How do you turn something that big on city streets? “You hope for the best; it’s a work in progress,” said Emmert’s Albrecht.

LACMA is expecting the boulder to leave the quarry Oct. 3, give or take a few days. Read the full story here.

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-- Deborah Vankin

Twitter.com/@debvankin

Photos, from top: The ‘monolith’ at Stone Granite Quarry with its transporter, which is still under construction.

The boulder, sitting on the transporter base.


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