- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2014

Barry Goldwater was controversial enough in life — and now in death, it seems more of the same. A couple of artists have been feuding over a bronze statue of the now-dead, five-term U.S. senator, with one accusing the other of ripping off his work and failing to give proper credit.

The Goldwater statue — which stands 8 feet high and weighs 1,700 pounds — was unveiled at the end of March at the Arizona Capitol building. It is due to be moved to the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall sometime this year.

But Scottsdale artist Robert Sutz says the statue is too lifelike, The Arizona Republic reported. He accuses Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, who created the likeness, of relying too heavily on a plaster life mask he forged in 1995 and then loaned to her. That means she owes him credit, he said, in the report.

He also accused her of damaging his mask.


“Nothing on Earth could help a sculptor to get a good likeness more than to have reference to a life mask,” he said, adding that he loaned her the “original master plaster positive” of the mask he made three years before Mr. Goldwater’s death to use as a reference, The Arizona Republic reported.

Ms. Copenhaver Fellows denied that she based her sculpture on Mr. Sutz’s mask.

“I did not make a mold of his mask nor did I need to,” she said in a statement to the newspaper. “Making a mold of it would not have been beneficial to me, as it was life scale and my monument is life-and-one-third.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mr. Goldwater’s campaign for president against Lyndon Johnson. He died at the age of 89 on May 29, 1998.