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700-ton crane being built to lift huge LACMA rock

March 15, 2012 | 12:43 pm

LacmA rock
LACMA’s famous rock may have finally made it to the museum, but it will be at least a couple months before the giant boulder can officially be presented as a work of art.

Museum spokeswoman Miranda Carroll said artist Michael Heizer will arrive in Los Angeles sometime "in the next couple weeks" to oversee the finishing touches of “Levitated Mass.”

“He does want to be here when the rock is positioned,” Carroll said. “But there’s still quite bit of work to be done.”   

Officials say a 456-foot-long slot is already cut into the ground along the Sixth Street side of LACMA’s campus. And while the rock’s enormous transporter is being disassembled, a 700-ton crane is simultaneously being built to lift the rock above the narrow gap.

Carroll projected the 2.5-acre outdoor exhibit could open in June. She said the area will be landscaped with granite that will make the plot look very similar to the Riverside quarry from which the rock was taken.

Because the rock will be positioned in parkland, Carroll said it will be free to the public. Only visitors who go inside the museum will be charged admission.

And for visitors who can't wait until June?

Said Carroll: "There are holes in the fence."


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-- Matt Stevens

Photo: LACMA's rock will hang above a 456-foot-long slot that has been cut into the ground near the museum. Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art