NEWPORT BEACH : Council to Consider Moving Sculpture

The Newport Beach City Council tonight will consider spending $1,500 to move a huge metal sculpture from the lawn in front of the old Newport Center Library to a grassy area on the east side of the intersection of Superior Avenue and West Coast Highway.

The hulking sculpture, “Metalphor,” by Bret Price, was donated to the city in 1986 by resident Warren Hancock, a fan of Price’s work.

It sat outside Newport Beach City Hall for part of 1986 and 1987, until it was moved to the front of the Newport Center Library.

During the 1991-92 fiscal year, the city negotiated a land swap with the Irvine Co. in which the city got the site of the new Central Library and the Irvine Co. got the Newport Center property. The Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., opened July 10.


Anticipating that move, to be completed by month’s end, the city’s Arts Commission set up an ad-hoc task force to choose a new site for the sculpture.

Based on the task force’s recommendation, the new site beneath a bluff and within view of a city parking lot won the approval of the Arts, Library Trustees and Parks Beaches and Recreation panels.

Librarian Tom Johnson said library patrons are so fascinated with the new building, they don’t appear to have noticed the absence of the sculpture.