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Schwarzenegger places giant bronze bear in Capitol

April 7, 2009 |  2:39 pm


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been out of state quite a bit lately vacationing, fundraising for ballot measures and mugging for the adoring national news media, wanted to make sure Californians knew he was thinking about them on his travels, so he hauled back a big gift.

Now sitting in front of the public entrance to the governor’s Capitol office is a giant bronze bear. The  statue of the official state animal, which the governor purchased at a gallery in Aspen, Colo., was installed this morning.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear declined to say how much the governor paid for the piece of art, but he said no taxpayer dollars were used. The governor came upon the bear, a work by sculptor Steven Bennett, while taking a stroll through town.

“He thought it would be appropriate to put out front,” McLear said.

-- Evan Halper

Photo: CHP Officer Shawn Bien stands near the statue outside the governor's office. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press