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Chicago Picasso

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The Chicago Picasso is one of the city's most famous and beloved pieces of public art, right in the heart of Daley Plaza.

Standing 50 feet tall and weighing more than 160 tons, the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza is much more than just artwork to Chicagoans. The untitled Picasso sculpture that originally sparked controversy in the city has now become one of Chicago’s most famous sculptures and beloved icons. 

The Chicago Picasso was commissioned in 1963 by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center to anchor the plaza on the east side of the building. The Chicago Picasso is built of Cor-Ten steel, the same material as the exterior of the Daley Center, and was assembled not far from Chicago at the U.S. Steel Company in Gary, Indiana. On August 15, 1967, thousands of people gathered in Daley Plaza to witness the unveiling and dedication of the city’s newest piece of public art. In his dedication letter, Picasso gave the sculpture as a gift to the people of Chicago, without ever explaining what the sculpture was intended to represent.

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