Zenos Frudakis, the Glenside-based sculptor of the Frank Rizzo statue in front of the Municipal Services Building, has weighed in on the fate of his creation in a letter to the Philadelphia Art Commission and the Inquirer.
Frudakis wrote that "I do not see the need for moving this sculpture," and that he was "alarmed about what appears to be a willingness to associate the two-term mayor of a major city with traitorous leaders of the Confederacy."
Frudakis could not immediately be reached for comment.
If the statue is relocated — a decision that will be made by city officials after a recommendation by the Art Commission — Frudakis warned that it may be damaged in the process. "The sculpture was installed with stainless steel structures beneath it that will make it very difficult to remove," he wrote, offering to consult on any such move to prevent damage.
In addition to the Rizzo statue, Frudakis is also represented in the city with sculptures of Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, and Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park, the "Freedom" statue at 16th and Vine Streets, and bas-reliefs of former Mayor Richardson Dilworth at the airport and former U.S. Rep. Tom Foglietta in Washington Square. Frudakis also has four statues in New Jersey, one of singer Nina Simone in Tryon, N.C., and five busts of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He has done a dozen other portrait busts, including former Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr., former City Council President Joseph Coleman, and abolitionist/author Frederick Douglass.
The full text of his letter is included below.