Press Release by The Farhang Foundation
THE FREEDOM SCULPTURE IS THE MOST WIDELY CROWD-SUPPORTED MONUMENTAL GIFT IN U.S. HISTORY AND WILL BE UNVEILED ON JULY 4TH, 2017
The one-of-a-kind sculpture celebrating American freedom, diversity and inclusiveness garners over a million supporters online, breaking records
LOS ANGELES, CA - The Farhang Foundation, a nonpolitical, nonreligious, not-for-profit Iranian-American cultural foundation, is proud to announce that The Freedom Sculpture: Freedom a Shared Dream, a monument honoring core American values of freedom, cultural diversity and unity, has raised more than $2.2 million, nearing the minimum goal of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. With over a million supporters from more than 50 countries following its progress on social media, the Freedom Sculpture has also become the most crowd-supported public monument gifted in U.S. history.
"We had a vision of the Iranian-American community and the people of Los Angeles coming together to help create the Freedom Sculpture, making it a gift that celebrates the cultural diversity of our city," said Freedom Sculpture Chair and Farhang Foundation Vice-Chairman Farhad Mohit. "We did not expect the outpouring of support from all over America and the rest of the world that is turning the Freedom Sculpture into a symbol of love and unity for all humanity."
Designed by award-winning architect and artist Cecil Balmond O.B.E., the Freedom Sculpture is a large-scale contemporary interpretation of the 2,500-year-old Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient Persian artifact widely considered to be the first declaration of human rights. The Freedom Sculpture is an historic gift to the City of Los Angeles symbolizing freedom, multicultural coexistence, and respect for diversity for all-highlighting American values enshrined in the constitution and embodied by the kaleidoscope of people and cultures who live harmoniously together in greater Los Angeles.
"Los Angeles has more than four million people from 100 countries who speak over 220 languages," said Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. "Our city has been a place of shared cultures and traditions from the moment of its founding, and our diversity remains our greatest strength. The Freedom Sculpture is a testament to the values we hold dear, and we are honored to receive it."
The Freedom Sculpture will stand in the heart of the city, at a major public transit median on historic Route 66 (on Santa Monica Blvd at Century Park East), where it will be seen by tens of thousands of Angelenos and visitors every day as they drive to and from Beverly Hills.
Four years in the making, the Freedom Sculpture has been an initiative led by the Iranian-American community in Los Angeles, but fueled by enthusiasm on the social media worldwide. More than a million people have joined the online community in the past year alone with over ten thousand more joining every day to support its creation, including ten Ellis Island award winners and immigrant-American visionaries such as, Elon Musk founder of Tesla and SpaceX; Sir Michael Moritz, Chairman of Sequoia Capital; Salar Kamangar, ex-CEO of YouTube, and many more who have made major donations to the project.
By comparison, the last major crowd-supported monumental gift to America, the Statue of Liberty in 1886 needed more than 20 years to gather support from the one hundred-thousand French and Americans needed to raise the funds required. Of course, today, in the age of social media, good ideas spread quickly and people everywhere are encouraging friends to support the Freedom Sculpture through the project's Facebook page or by making a donation at FreedomSculpture.org. Also a uniquely modern incentive is that all financial donors to the Freedom Sculpture, no matter the amount, become part of the permanent legacy of this monumental landmark with their names forever memorialized on the project's online donor wall.
Appropriately, the Freedom Sculpture will be unveiled on Independence Day, July 4th, 2017 at the inaugural LA Freedom Festival, a free public celebration and official ceremony expected to draw tens of thousands of Angelenos. In addition to the official gifting and unveiling, the LA Freedom Festival will include musical performances, a dramatic fireworks display, video-welcome by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as in person attendance by the artist Cecil Balmond and city officials, with 5th District Councilman Paul Koretz accepting on behalf of the city before leaders of major cultural and ethnic groups.
"We are grateful for the overwhelming public support we have received for the creation of the Freedom Sculpture," said Alireza Ardekani, Executive Director of the Farhang Foundation. "We are excited to celebrate with all of Los Angeles, America and the whole world at the unveiling ceremony culminating the LA Freedom Festival on July 4th, 2017."
For more about the
LA Freedom Festival visit: LAFreedomFestival.org
More about "The Freedom Sculpture" - A 2,500 Year Old Dream, Four Years in the Making
"The Freedom Sculpture" began as an idea by the Farhang Foundation in late 2013, which turned into an international urban art competition in 2014, seeking designs for a monument celebrating universally shared humanitarian ideals of freedom, inclusiveness and diversity, as core values enshrined in the constitution by the Founding Father of America. Farhang Foundation held an international competition for the sculpture, vetting more than 300 submisisions. A panel of independent jurors selected the winning design by Mr. Cecil Balmond, a world-renowned Sri Lankan-British artist and architect, who modeled his design on the Cyrus Cylinder from ancient Persia.
For more about the designer Cecil Balmond visit: BalmondStudio.com
The Cyrus Cylinder, widely known as the first declaration of human rights, recounts Cyrus the Great of Persia's conquest of Babylon some 2,500 years ago. It was a proclamation that granted individual and religious freedoms and rights to all who lived under his rule. An image of the Cyrus Cylinder hangs in the halls of the United Nations as a reminder of the importance of these universal values to all humanity. Cyrus the Great's methods for governance were popularized in the Cyropaedia, a semi-biographical account of Cyrus the Great as the ideal ruler written by the Greek historian Xenophon, which inspired America's Founding Fathers to put these same values into the core of the U.S. Constitution.
Construction of the Freedom Sculpture began in mid-2016, with city permits and authorizations secured later in the year, setting the stage for completion and an official unveiling on Independence Day, July 4th, 2017.
For more about the Freedom Sculpture visit: FreedomSculpture.org
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