Sculpture Shock

SLU president Lawrence Biondi says he leased his Trova from the city fair and square, for $10 a year. Others beg to differ.

He says he now needs to find another $30,000 to build a pedestal, to make a new plaque honoring Arthur Baer and to move the sculpture -- hopefully to the city park across the street from the Soldiers Memorial downtown. In addition, Orchard contends that SLU scratched the sculpture's surface when it was moved and has failed to keep AV/Bedu clean.

"It's going to end up costing the foundation more than $50,000 to rectify what I consider to be a serious mistake on the part of the city," Orchard says.

Last September Frank Ferrara went back to Biondi's office, this time bearing a contract that would cancel the lease between SLU and the city in exchange for $27,000.

SLU president Lawrence Biondi attempted to move the 
sculpture to his campus in 1994 and succeeded in 
2000.
Jennifer Silverberg
SLU president Lawrence Biondi attempted to move the sculpture to his campus in 1994 and succeeded in 2000.
Jeff Rainford, Mayor Slay's chief of staff, denies that 
he told Orchard to stop calling city hall.
Jennifer Silverberg
Jeff Rainford, Mayor Slay's chief of staff, denies that he told Orchard to stop calling city hall.

"Biondi said he wanted another $3,000 to take up the concrete slab," Orchard recounts. "And we've been waiting [to get the contract back] ever since."

In its prepared statement, Saint Louis University did not mention the settlement offer presented to Biondi by the Arts and Fountains Foundation. "To this point, the City of St. Louis has contacted the University about releasing them from the lease, but it remains unclear whether the city would be willing to reimburse the University for its costs," the statement says.

As for Trova, he says he's engrossed in a new project and can't be bothered with the controversy. Jazz music blares in the background when he picks up the phone on a recent afternoon.

"Other people are dealing with that. It's not on my agenda," Trova grumbles. "I don't like to be bothered with other people's political problems or agendas."

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