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Why haven’t Rocky & Bullwinkle returned to the Sunset Strip?

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They were supposed to return to the strip in 2015

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They’ve evaded Russian spies with ease, but Rocky & Bullwinkle are having a heck of a time landing some real estate on the Sunset Strip.

It’s been nearly four years since cranes removed LA’s famed Rocky & Bullwinkle statue from its 52-year home on Sunset Boulevard. Over half a century of Los Angeles sun had inflicted some bad damage, and the landlord didn’t want to pay for the needed repairs.

But the moose and squirrel were not destined for the dumpster. Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation, artist Ricardo Scozzari spiffed up the piece, applying a fresh coat of paint and performing "open heart surgery" for Bullwinkle. The work was then donated to Weho’s Urban Art collection.

All seemed well as West Hollywood announced the duo would return to the Sunset Strip in a new location, a city-owned parking lot at 8775 Sunset. After a short residency in the lobby of City Hall, officials promised the two would be back on the Strip by 2015.

Rocky and Bullwinkle will be staying with us for a while. Come say hello! #weho

A photo posted by City Of West Hollywood (@wehocity) on

It’s now two years later, and the Sunset Strip remains suspiciously mooseless. So, where are they?

Andrew Campbell, arts manager for the city of West Hollywood told Curbed the city has been “anxious to get them back on public view.” The necessary approvals are all in place, and an architect has designed a new base for the statue.

So, why the delay? Well, Bullwinkle’s got a new neighbor.

Simultaneous to the Bullwinkle statue project, West Hollywood was also fielding bids for the design of a bold new billboard concept for a plot of land across the street. City officials picked Tom Wiscombe’s 72-foot tall “The Belltower.”

Now the “most Instagrammable billboard in the world” may be cramping Bullwinkle’s style.

Campbell says the city has put the Bullwinkle installation “on hold pending the final development” of the Belltower project, so that they can ensure there won’t be a design inconsistency between the base of the Bullwinkle and the new billboard.

No word yet on when those design details for the Belltower will be finalized, but according to Wehoville, the West Hollywood City Council will conduct a final review of the project sometime later this year.

That means for now, Bullwinkle remains in storage. Cartoon lovers and roadside statue aficionados may be discouraged, but Campbell assures us the city has, “every intention of bringing Bullwinkle and Rocky back. We miss them very much, and so does everybody else.”