China rejects SF’s pitch for longer stay of sculpture

Sen. Dianne Feinstein helped push through customs the Three Heads Six Arms massive sculpture that now sits in the Civic Center plaza. But it sounds like no one can convince China from taking Zhang Huan’s art work back.

“At this point we are planning to return the sculpture in March, a little bit earlier than its expected duration in The City because we’ve been informed by the custom officials in China that they will not issue another carnet for the extension of the sculpture. We attempted through our various connections to try to address this issue and it seems like it’s a very big hurdle to overcome,” said Jill Manton, programs director for the Arts Commission.

There were surmountable custom challenges bringing the sculpture in to the United States. But high-powered friends could help in that case. “We did need a little intervention from Sen. Feinstein to have customs lift the agricultural inspection hold that they had placed on the sculpture when it arrived,” Manton said.

The sculpture was brought in to commemorate San Francisco’s 30th Anniversary with its sister city Shanghai.

The project cost about $150,000, of which $70,000 came from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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