Westside : Demand Extends Sculptures’ Display

Because of public acclaim, the distinctive, oversize bronze sculptures by artist Fernando Botero will remain on display in a Beverly Hills park until March 31.

The 15 statues--ranging from a reclining nude woman to a 12-foot-high hand--have prompted so many calls that city officials agreed to extend the exhibit for two months. The sculptures are seen by thousands of motorists daily as they pass Beverly Gardens Park on busy Santa Monica Boulevard.

“I can’t tell you the number of positive comments we have been getting from people in the community,” said Fine Art Commission chairwoman Joan Simon Menkes. “People love the Boteros.”


But apparently fondness for Botero’s exaggeratedly corpulent forms is not universal.

One motorist sued the city, calling the statues “obscene and indecent” and alleging they prompted feelings of anxiety, nervousness, stress and depression. The woman said she lost wages when she was forced to go to work by a different route to avoid the sculptures. The suit was later withdrawn.