- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2008

The popular “Awakening” sculpture at the southern tip of East Potomac Park in the District was unearthed yesterday and moved to its new home at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

The sculpture — five body parts embedded in the grass and soil to create the illusion a bearded giant emerging from the earth — was created by J. Seward Johnson. It is owned by California-based Sculpture Foundation and has been on loan to the National Park Service for the past 28 years.

Milton Peterson, the developer who bought “The Awakening” for a reported $750,000, said foreign countries had bid for the 17-foot high sculpture since its creation, so admirers should not feel a sense of loss.

“I feel as though we’re saving it for Washington, not losing it” he said.

About a 150 people yesterday braved the cold and wind on the section of the park known as Hains Point — where the Potomac and Anacostia rivers meet — to watched crews load the parts on a flatbed truck and take them several miles to their new home.

The crews started removing the sculpture near dawn and left for Prince George’s shortly before 11 a.m. to complete the work before the snow arrived in the afternoon.

Mr. Peterson said the cast-aluminum sculpture is just the first acquisition of public art for his $2 billion commercial development project.

He said he also has commissioned art from modernist American metal sculptor Albert Paley.

Mr. Peterson said the District offered to buy the sculpture from him after he purchased it.

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