MARABAR Letters of Support

The threat has been renewed to the site-specific installation MARABAR by noted New York-based artist Elyn Zimmerman and located on the campus of National Geographic in Washington, D.C.  National Geographic plans to renovate the plaza that contains the artwork. The plaza was created as part of a building addition in 1981 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  Zimmerman was commissioned to create an installation that would be in harmony with the building addition. 

While the proposal did receive approvals from the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) and numerous letters from artworld experts and luminaries demonstrated that the HPRB was not made aware of the impact on and import of the artwork. On May 28, 2020, the HPRB decided to reopen the case. HPRB Chair Marnique Heath affirmed TCLF’s position, noting that the “issue of the sculpture was not raised” by National Geographic and that they should “strongly consider whether the sculpture can remain.”

In response to the renewed threat, a new round of letters is being sent to the HPRB.