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Tampa's 'Big Max' to be installed Tuesday in St. Petersburg

Big Max is making the big move.

If all goes according to plan, the giant red sculpture, which looks like a massive set of surreal pickup sticks, will arrive at its new home sometime this morning between 7 and 8 in downtown St. Petersburg's south Straub Park.

It had been on display at MacDill Park in downtown Tampa since 2008. But the agreement that kept it there expired in May 2010, and city officials did not renew it. It was disassembled there Monday and readied for the overnight trip across the bay.

Although it had been announced in October that the sculpture would move to Straub Park, it wasn't until last week that details emerged of exactly where the mammoth — 33 feet high by 75 feet long by 38 feet wide — steel sculpture would go.

It will now reside for the next 18 months at Beach Drive and Second Avenue NE, across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts. Once it arrives, it should take about three or four hours to assemble with the help of a crane, said Ken Rollins of Rollins Fine Art, which is helping facilitate the move.

Big Max's creator, sculptor John Henry, will be on hand with two of his crew members to help with the assembly. Henry has agreed to pay the city $100 to keep the sculpture on display.

Big Max used to catch drivers' eyes in front of the fire station on Main Street in Chattanooga, Tenn., its first home. It arrived in Tampa's MacDill Park in 2008 as part of the statewide show of Henry's work, "Drawing in Space: The Peninsula Project."

Henry estimates its value at $500,000.

Henry's work is in numerous public and private collections such as Anchorage International Airport; the Miami Metro Rail System; the University of Florida; Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; the city of Hanover, Germany; Central Park, Shenzhen, China; the Joslyn Museum of Art, Omaha, Neb.; the Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas; Bicentennial Park, Miami; among many others.

.Fast facts

Can you watch?

Ken Rollins says he hopes people will be in the area to see the sculpture arise on its green space. But he cautioned that with a heavy crane involved, onlookers will want to keep a safe distance.

Tampa's 'Big Max' to be installed Tuesday in St. Petersburg 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 11:14pm]
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