ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the biggest art sculptures in the city is now being hidden in the shadows.
From Civic Plaza to Balloon Fiesta Park, the One Albuquerque sign is meant to draw people to focal points of the metro. Some may have noticed the sign has been missing from public view since the Balloon Fiesta.
People around town made guesses Wednesday of where it is currently located.
“Maybe something for veterans because it was just Veterans Day,” Albuquerque resident Brandee Jones said.
“The airport somewhere,” Albuquerque resident Tim Soholt added.
When KRQE News 13 told them it’s actually in the closed-off maintenance yard of the zoo next to a dumpster and what looks like a pile of dirt, their reactions were priceless.
“No way… Is it really?” Jones asked. “Wow… Okay… Why is it there? I feel like I am being pranked right now.”
It’s no prank.
People who walk along Tingley Drive near downtown said it has been there since last week.
“I didn’t know why it would be there…” Albuquerque resident Marla Munoz said.
“Unless they are trying to draw tourists to the dumpster, that seems like a really silly place to put it,” Soholt added.
The city said it is being stored there until the end of the month when River of Lights starts up at the Botanic Garden.
The city said while there may be temporary periods like this when the $44,000 sculpture needs to be stored, they have no permanent storage locations in mind.
“It’s a nice sign,” Jones said. “If you are going to put that much money into it, I am sure you can put more thought into where to store it or keep it.”
River of Lights is expected to start on November 30, so that means the sculpture will likely be at the zoo for another two weeks.
The city had previously said the sculpture cost $5,500 to move from one place to the next, but since it is now on a flatbed trailer, the cost of transportation only includes the gas needed to tow it.