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Question: Why are two of the seven mosaic sculptures standing next to the Langley lot on Centre Street in Newton Centre wrapped in tarps?
Two of the lively, abstract mosaics standing at the intersection of Langley Road and Centre Street in Newton Centre, are temporarily wrapped in tarps to protect them from further damage.
“Over the years, they’ve taken a toll,” said Paula Gannon, director of Newton Cultural Development, in a phone interview Friday. She said at one point in their history, a truck hit a light pole which subsequently fell on them.
The sculptures were created by artists Marvin Rosenberg and his wife Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg as part of a community mosaic project. They were installed near the Langley parking lot in the 1980s, according to Gannon. The artists have created other public art in Boston and other locations.
Since they were installed, the mosaics have gone through several repairs and restorations.
Gannon said that mosaic artist Cecelia Kremer, who has been repairing the pieces over the years, thinks the artwork is at a point where more than patches are needed.
Because the sculptures are outside, the materials are vulnerable to the elements.
“They really do need some serious repair,” said Gannon.
As moisture gets into the mortar between the tile pieces and inside the structure, it freezes and melts which in turn weakens and damages the piece.
Right now the city is looking into whether the mosaics can be relocated and where funding might come from to fix them. One possibility is a public-private partnership.
“I’d love to see something indoors somewhere for the future,” said Gannon.
Any repairs will have to wait for spring when the days are warmer and the mortar will not be at damaged by water freezing and melting.
“Public art is tricky. They all have a life cycle,” she said.
If residents are interested in learning more, Gannon said they could contact the Newton Cultural Development Office. For more information, visit http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/parks/arts/default.asp