'Unsettling' Lucille Ball Sculpture Will Move To New Home In N.Y. : The Two-Way The plan gives new life to a statue that gained dubious fame last month, when criticism of the bronze work reached a fever pitch. It's now seen as a part of comedy history.
NPR logo 'Unsettling' Lucille Ball Sculpture Will Move To New Home In N.Y.

'Unsettling' Lucille Ball Sculpture Will Move To New Home In N.Y.

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. Since the sculpture was unveiled in 2009, it has been blasted by critics — and now there are plans to move it. The Post-Journal/AP hide caption

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The Post-Journal/AP

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. Since the sculpture was unveiled in 2009, it has been blasted by critics — and now there are plans to move it.

The Post-Journal/AP

Instead of being destroyed or altered, the notoriously scary statue of Lucille Ball that graces her hometown in New York will be moved to a new National Comedy Center that's being built nearby.

The plan gives new life to a statue that gained dubious fame last month, when criticism of the bronze work reached a fever pitch. By then, leaders in the town of Celoron, in western New York, had grown weary of seeing — and hearing about — the sculpture. And so had the artist: He was moved to apologize for what he called "by far my most unsettling" work, and to promise to fix it.

For now, the statue remains in Lucille Ball Memorial Park, but it will soon move to the comedy center slated to open in nearby Jamestown.

The Buffalo News reports:

"The solution came about after a tentative plan by Celoron officials to replace the sculpture's head with a more accurate likeness and a short-lived campaign to bring the statue to the original set of "I Love Lucy" both failed. A fundraising effort launched by Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost to capitalize on the international publicity also came up short, securing only $421 of its $20,000 goal. Schrecengost could not immediately be reached for comment."

"It's certainly part of the history of comedy now. Nobody can dispute that," the newspaper quotes the comedy center's chairman, Tom Benson, as saying.