Arts & Entertainment and Higher Education

GVSU removes fraying sculpture in 'Wrecking Ball' parodies

September 18, 2013
| By AP |
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GVSU removes fraying sculpture in 'Wrecking Ball' parodies
GVSU removed a fraying pendulum statue outside of the Padnos Hall of Science after students used it to parody a music video. Courtesy GVSU

Some students don't like Grand Valley State University’s decision to remove a swinging sculpture that students had been using as a popular, makeshift swing since the release of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video.

GVSU said Tuesday that it had taken down the sculpture, called a bifilar pendulum, sitting outside the Padnos Hall of Science and placed it in storage due to concerns about student safety.

After the removal yesterday, workers discovered that the cable was fraying.

In the video, Cyrus appears without clothes on a swinging wrecking ball. Photos and video of people doing the same on the sculpture recently surfaced online.

GVSU said it had been considering what to do with the piece before the recent parodies, which drew attention on social media websites and elsewhere.

“The examination of the structural integrity of the installation showed cable decay,” said GVSU Associate Vice President for Facilities Services Tim Thimmesch. “We’ll have a structural engineer review the installation and provide an assessment of the load on the beam — particularly when there is added weight. Safety is our main concern. We hope the pendulum can be re-installed at that location or at another suitable location on campus.”

There's no timeline for finding a new location.

On Tuesday night, students gathered outside the Padnos Hall of Science to protest the decision to remove the large ball and cable that had hung there for roughly 18 years.

Students held mobile phones in the air and sang "Wrecking Ball."

The sculpture was created by artist Dale Eldred in 1973.

It was installed in the Kirkhof Center in 1974, where it hung for six years, and was later installed near the Padnos Hall of Science in 1995.

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