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Massive Sculpture Turning Heads In Westhampton Beach

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WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A new eye-catching sculpture has become the talk of the town for visitors and residents on the East End of Long Island.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the aluminum colossus dubbed “Walking Figure” appeared at the airport in Westhampton, not far from the village and beaches.

It weighs 5,000 pounds and stands more than 30 feet tall, towering over Westhampton Beach tourists and townies.

“It looks like Olive Oyl from ‘Popeye,'” one man said.

“She looks like Lucy from the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip,” another intrigued passerby told McLogan.

Melvin and Enid Barbell are among the curious.

“We scouted it out today and I really think it’s adorable,” said Enid.

“I love the humor in it, because this is such a somber place,” Melvin said.

On the edge of Francis S. Gabreski Airport along Old Riverhead Road, a main thoroughfare to the Hamptons, the massive sculpture stands on a concrete base. The sculpture depicts a woman with a rectangular torso, striding forward with arms in mid-swing, McLogan reported.

“It looks like it is still wrapped in aluminum foil,” one woman said.

“It doesn’t really connect to the beach theme that we have in the community,” a man critiqued.

“Boy I hope that’s only temporary,” another man added.

Unfortunately for those who are not a fan of the piece, it is permanent. It’s the centerpiece of the new Hamptons Business District — embodying the concept of forward motion.

Developers Rechler Equity Partners commissioned the work of artist Donald Baechler. The company paid a substantial sum, but wouldn’t elaborate on exactly how much.

“We honestly believe it will become another piece of iconic art work in the Hamptons, such as Stargazer,” said Mitchell Rechler, Hamptons Business District developer.

In Old Westbury, Long Island, a controversial 33-foot-tall bronze statue caused such furor that the village board is considering a new law to limit heights of such structures.

Walking Figure, however, was put in place only after the necessary permits were secured.

Unless removed due to unpopularity, Walking Figure may be on display for the next 40 years, until the Hamptons Business District’s lease expires.

The developers added that landscaping will soon be added, making the sculpture look more “at home” in the Hamptons.

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