Sometimes love has a way of sticking around and winning your heart even if at first you've turned away. Just ask the Manhattan Beach City Council.

In its on-again, off-again relationship with LOVE—the sculpture, that is—the council decided Tuesday to reconsider placing it at the pier head. 

In April the council said “no thank you” to a wealthy resident who wanted to loan the city an iconic and original sculpture that spells the word LOVE.

RELATED: Manhattan Beach says 'no' to LOVE

The only catch was that philanthropist Warren Lichtenstein wanted the sculpture placed near the pier head. To that idea, the council unanimously declined and recommended pursuing other areas such as Metlox Plaza or the Civic Center.

Then, on Tuesday after Martin Betz, the city’s cultural arts manager, reported that Lichtenstein was not in favor of the alternative locations, the City Council one-by-one expressed a change of heart.

“I’ve thought about it and I would rather have it than not have it,” said Nancy Hersman, who revealed she spoke with Lichtenstein during the interim. “It’s such a beautiful piece of art. I would prefer us to have the sculpture at The Strand if that's where he would prefer to see his piece of art.”

Lichtenstein had offered to loan the city for five years the LOVE sculpture, one of four originals produced by artist Robert Indiana. Since then, the iconic image of the ‘L’ and ‘O’ overtop the ‘V’ and ‘E’ has become a trademark for more than 600 retail products and services.

As part of a new offer, Lichtenstein has agreed to contribute $10,000 of the estimated $25,000 it will take to place the sculpture at the proposed location at the southern end of the parking lot south of the pier head.

Councilmember David Lesser, who previously objected to the artwork's proliferance in citing his opposition to placing it at the pier, said on Tuesday that he, too, had spoken with the lender and had a change of heart.

“I’ve come full circle on that as well,” Lesser said.

In a statement following the vote Lichtenstein said he was happy to hear the council accepted his proposal.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor the city than to have the LOVE sculpture on display where all who visit can enjoy it and be inspired by its message," Lichtenstein said.

Councilmember Steve Napolitano was the lone dissenting vote in a motion to bring a new agreement with Lichtenstein forward at a future council meeting. The new agreement will need final passage before bringing the sculpture to the pier.

“If I was going to rent a sculpture or a statue, that’s not the place I would put it,” Napolitano said.

UPDATE 5/3/18: This article was corrected to reflect Lichtenstein offered to loan the statue to the city for five years and not 10 years as first stated.

Load comments