'Space' oddity in Alexandria

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's an elephant egg.

An avocado.

A toilet seat.

A halo.

Or maybe a portal to another dimension, like in the sci-fi "Stargate" series.

What it is, really, is a 30,000-pound marble and limestone sculpture called "Three Eggs in Space." It's the latest piece of public art in Alexandria - a gift, really, from the developer of a new apartment building to his neighbors in the artsy community of Del Ray.

As for those neighbors, some simply love it. "It's become a good geographic reference point: 'Meet me at the Egg,' " said Diana Meredith. "It's a cool, unique piece."

Some put up with it. "It doesn't do anything for me, but I always notice it," said Bill Fourqurean, who runs past the piece daily. "I think it's kind of silly."

And some really hate it. "My reaction: gack," Elizabeth Schilling said.

Love it or love to hate it, ever since the 12-foot-tall structure was lowered by crane and bolted to the ground on a grassy spit of land a few months ago, it has become the talk of the town.

At dinner parties, in coffee shops, on e-mail group lists, over back fences, people can't stop talking about how the Egg reminds them of works by Georgia O'Keeffe or Henry Moore. Or how they fantasize about the damage a garbage truck could do to the already slightly tilted sculpture. Or how T.C. Williams High School students might "decorate" it as a graduation prank.

Many residents, chagrined by the sculpture's evocative shape, have taken to calling it the "Lady Part."

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