Statue of Responsibility proposed in Utah draws mixed reaction

The group behind the Statue of Responsibility, a massive new building proposed for Point of the Mountain, presented their idea to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The creators believed the 300-foot-tall statue would be a major tourist attraction while spreading a positive message, but the artist behind the concept knew there were many naysayers against the project.

The shape of the building represents a hand reaching out and lifting another, symbolizing our responsibility to help others. An external ridge would be covered with stained glass windows and there would be two elevators leading to an observation deck.

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The project has already received some major support, most notably from Governor Spencer Cox. He released a video saying he wanted the project to come to Utah after it was shot down in California, allegedly because it would take decades just to get the permits.

The shape of the building itself is meant to represent people helping each other, and Cox said that was something Utahns embodied.

Supporters such as Sue Brenchley said such a large project could attract thousands of tourists.

“If you look at the Statue of Responsibility, people will be curious. You will be mesmerized by its boldness and its size,” she said.

Sculptor Gary Lee Price said there is a reason the building should be so large.

“I believe that we need symbols that represent certain things. . . certain monumental things. Just like the Statue of Liberty, just like the St. Louis Arch.”

Price said they pitched the idea in California, but the laws there didn't allow them to build something that big.

He said: “We found that it would probably be at least another 20 years, if at all, before this project could get through the Coastal Authority.”

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He believed that the more people learned about the project, the more they would like it, but that might be difficult. Most people who took a KUTV poll said they didn't like the idea.

One man said he respected the overall vision of the project but believed it would elicit the same reaction people had to the proposed gondola over Little Cottonwood Canyon.

“If people complain that this is an eyesore, what are they going to think about it?” he said.

Others, like Adam Pace, were a bit tougher.

“It sounds kind of stupid to me, but I don’t know. I wouldn’t pay for it,” Pace said.

If approved, the project would cost $350 million and be built by 2030. But organizers say no taxpayer money would be used at all and the project would be funded entirely by private donations.


Anna Harden

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