News & Politics

Wanted: New Home for Million-Pound Sculpture

National Geographic no longer plans to move “Marabar" to Navy Yard. Now the massive artwork needs another site.

Photograph by Flickr user Miki Jourdan.

The National Geographic Society no longer plans to move the massive Marabar sculpture to Navy Yard from its headquarters building off of 17th Street, Northwest, the New York Times reports. The society had selected Canal Park, which is near the US Department of Transportation building on M Street, Southeast, but Marabar‘s creator, Elyn Zimmerman, objected to the change in venue, Rebecca Ritzel reports for the Times. Zimmerman, Ritzel reports, “deemed it inappropriate, citing a lack of security and potential for skateboarders to damage the carefully polished and shaped granite boulders,” which are only half a foot thick in some areas.

The society told the Historic Preservation Review Board it would consult with Zimmerman on a new home for Marabar, which it would like to move to make way for a new entrance. The boulders in Marabar weigh about a million pounds, with the largest about a quarter of that weight. Zimmerman would like to see the sculpture go to a “university, sculpture garden or other cultural institution,” Ritzel writes. Wherever it ends up, Zimmerman said, it should be somewhere ducks can access it, as they do now.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.