Nearly 1,800 Venetians and former Venetians turned out at Venice High School, April 10, to see the new statue, Inspiration, better known as the Myrna Loy statue, unveiled. Most were alumni of the school who had spent their years of study near the old cement statue which suffered from  70 years of vandalism and the elements, and ultimately fell apart. The new bronze statue was the fruit of years of fundraising by the alumni association. It will not be white like the previous statue – in fact, it is already turning green – but should last much longer.

A short program moderated by Laura Ferre, alumni president, included cheerleaders and band members and featured a parade of principals and ex-principals (no teachers or students), actor Beau Bridges (class of ‘59), top donor Peter Schwab, and an introduction of the sculptor Ernest Shelton. Oddly, no representatives of Venice organizations or institutions were invited to speak. For more information, visit the alumni website: www.venicehighalumni.com.

Ferre says she doesn’t expect the new statue to suffer the vandalism that befell the old one. “We do not intend on any kind of cage or railing around the base of the statue.  We have built the pedestal hopefully high enough, and narrow enough so that it will not be accessible to stand on,” said Ferre.  “We have layered the plants around her to keep everyone as far away as possible. The lights at night on the buildings light her up fully. And…we have 24 hour video surveillance on her,” she added.

Myrna would have enjoyed the attention!

–Jim Smith

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