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University's sculpture goes out like a 'Wrecking Ball'

  • In this Fall 2012 photo provided by Grand Valley State University, students walk by a sculpture called a bifilar pendulum. University officials say they have taken down and placed the sculpture in storage due to concerns over student safety. Since the release of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video, some students on the school's Allendale campus have been swinging on the sculpture, which resembles a wrecking ball. (AP Photo/Grand Valley State University, April Joy Galbreath)

ALLENDALE, Mich. — The "wrecking ball" could be returning to public view at a Michigan university.

Grand Valley State University has formed a group to discuss the future of a swinging sculpture that was removed from a public spot last week. Students had been riding it like Miley Cyrus in her "Wrecking Ball" music video.

Officials, citing a bad cable and bolt, insisted the sculpture was placed in storage because of safety concerns. They said the issues were raised before photos and video emerged of people parodying the Cyrus video, which shows her without clothes on a swinging wrecking ball.

"A piece of scientific art is what it really is and our intention was always to reinstall it safely and enhance that scientific aspect," Grand Valley spokeswoman Mary Eilleen Lyon told MLive.com (http://bit.ly/1bci42f). "This is a wonderful learning opportunity for our students to see the process that you go through."

Lyon said physics and engineering students, as well as a member of student government, will be part of the group studying the sculpture's future.

The sculpture, created by Dale Eldred, is nearly 40 years old and has been outdoors since 1995. T-shirts with the tag "#reinstalltheball" have been sold, with the money donated to anti-cancer efforts.

Lyon said the publicity has put Grand Valley in a "reasonably positive light." The 24,500-student campus is in Allendale, 15 miles west of Grand Rapids.

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