110-ton ‘Man on a Bench’ moves to new home

IOWA CITY (AP) — The owner of a 20-foot-tall, 110-ton limestone statue succeeded in a slow process last week of moving the sculpture across a street in Iowa City.

The giant statue, called “Man on a Bench,” had gazed out over a nature preserve in the northeast corner of Iowa City for five years. But the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that after its sculptor and the property owner, Doug Paul, completed a land swap with the education organization ACT, the statue had to be moved across a street.

“It was not made to be moved,” Paul said.

However, over several days last week, stonemason JB Barnhouse oversaw the move with the help of crane and excavation companies. They detached 11 blocks of carved Indiana limestone that had been held together by stainless steel pins and by Friday managed to haul the statue to its new home, one block at a time.

The stone suffered a few small “blow-outs,” but they can be repaired.

Paul acknowledged some anxiety but said he wasn’t too worried.

“If we broke it in the wrong places, it would just become an abstract,” Paul said. “The other option I was well-prepared for was, if one of the stones broke, I would just order a new stone and carve it again.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.