It is 12 feet long, 7 feet tall, weighs 4,000 pounds, and could become a permanent fixture at the Minneapolis Museum of Art if $1 million can be raised.
Having arrived on Tuesday, the sculpture named "Eros" – completed in 1999 – will be on temporary display outside the south Minneapolis museum's 3rd Avenue entrance.
But the hope is that the work, by the late, internationally-renowned Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj, will remain at the MIA for good to celebrate its centenary this year, with the museum launching a campaign to raise a further $700,000 towards a $1 million goal.
"It's your chance to celebrate the museum's 100th birthday year and play a tangible and meaningful role during the museum's centennial celebration," it says on the fundraising page. "This new work will change the face of the 'people’s museum' for generations to come."
The museum says acquiring the work would make it a "masterpiece for the community" that will become "an icon" for Minneapolis.
The MIA said the bronze sculpture will remain outside the entrance until the end June, when it will hopefully be moved to a permanent home on the front lawn at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 24th Street.
"We wanted something to commemorate our centennial,” Julianne Amendola, director of advancement, told the Star Tribune. "We could have done a separate campaign, but this is really about getting the public involved in the art collection."
The sculpture of Eros
Mitoraj specialized in "fractured anatomies" and the bandaged heads of which "Eros" is one of several examples, The Guardian reports.
The MIA told BringMeTheNews the Minneapolis sculpture is from Mitoraj's studio, and is being sold by an unnamed dealer following the sculptor's death last year.
It is one of a series of "bandaged head" works completed by the sculptor, and closely resembles one of his most celebrated pieces "Eros Bendato Screpolato" (meaning Eros Blindfolded Cracked), which was described by The Guardian as one of Mitoraj's "most evocative projects" after it was installed at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England, in 2009.
Mitoraj is known for his post-modern twist on the classical style, with auction house Sotheby's writing of "Eros Bendato Screpolato": "Mitoraj eschews a human scale creating sculptures which pertain, rather, to the colossal. Like the Colossus of Rhodes, it is as though the present work has fallen a vestige of a civilization left shattered."
The MIA says that using Eros, the Greek god of love, as a being both bandaged and cracked, "points out the contradiction between the ideals of strength and beauty, and the inherent fragility of the human condition."
You can donate to the fundraising drive here. The museum will also house donation boxes and will hold events at a gala weekend June 26-28.
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