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Vandals Graffiti Ugo Rondinone’s Las Vegas Public Art Installation

After opening less than one month ago near Las Vegas, Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s site-specific public art installation Seven Magic Mountains, 2016, has been defaced by vandals, Natalie Bruzda of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The monumental work consists of seven towers of stacked, brightly colored, limestone boulders that soar more than thirty feet into the air.

Located in the Ivanpah Valley in Nevada’s Mojave desert, the towers now have pictures of genitalia, numbers such as “666,” and profanity written on them. “It’s shocking and disgusting,” Jordan Forman, who recently visited the work with friends, said. “It’s all over the place.” But, perhaps not for long. The Nevada Museum of Art, who coproduced the piece with the Art Production Fund, has tweeted that the sculptures “will be repaired soon.”

The project took five years and more than $3 million dollars to realize. For Rondinone, the piece is a creative expression of human presence in nature. He told Linda Yablonsky of artforum.com that the work was “like putting Land art together with Pop art.” It has been on view since May 11, and will remain installed for the next two years. In response to the incident the museum said: “The positive reception the piece has received has far surpassed our expectations. Most people have shown the utmost respect and appreciation for Ugo Rondinone’s work. Of course, there are always people who behave poorly. We are very disappointed to learn of the recent vandalism to the artwork.” The institution said that it is unclear when the vandalism occurred, but the police were notified, and it will continue to monitor the piece.

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