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Maya Lin packs up her Playground

Maya Lin says she will not create a sculpture for a park in Portland's Pearl District.

Paige Powell, director of the Pearl Arts Foundation, said Lin dropped out after talking Monday to park co-designer Herbert Dreiseitl of Germany. Dreiseitl suggested that Lin's proposed sculpture, 'Playground,' was better suited to a recreational park.

The new park, at Northwest 11th Avenue and Marshall Street, expected to be completed next year, is supposed to have a contemplative feel. Yet Lin argued her piece was designed for a contemplative park.

Lin, a 43-year-old artist and architect, first gained recognition for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

'She's been working on this for three years,' Powell said.

Powell said the arts foundation planned to raise the $380,000 required for the sculpture. Lin proposed 'Playground,' a 40-by-60-foot rubber-coated sculpture. Two-and-a-half foot bumps would appear throughout the piece.

'Maya has never been wrong on projects before,' Powell said. 'She's a genius. She's the Pavarotti of the architectural world.'

Architect Dreiseitl, who was in Portland last weekend for a lecture and a public workshop, said Saturday: 'My task is not the Maya Lin sculpture. I'm selected as an artist myself. I have given her many opportunities to talk about the project, but I couldn't reach her.'

Lin was not available for comment. Powell said: 'She needed to be in a position where they were working together. She's noncompromising. They don't want her here, so she pulled out.'

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