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Keeping Up SaMo's Little Mushroom Cloud

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Maybe you've seen this piece of public art in Santa Monica's civic center? Called "Chain Reaction," it's a mushroom cloud made out of chain links and covered in fiberglass. The 20-year-old sculpture by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad has fallen into disrepair, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. The outer shell is breaking loose from the core and a city arts official called it a "public safety hazard." Local "peace activist" Jerry Rubin was with Conrad when the Santa Monica City Council almost voted down "Chain Reaction" in 1991 and he's collecting signatures to make sure the city keeps it up, as Conrad passed away last year. The city says the artwork is not at risk of being removed or destroyed and an independent contractor will hopefully come in soon and check out the extent of damage. [SMDP]