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Bronze sculptures on display in downtown Plant City through Nov. 1

PLANT CITY – A July 28 ceremony will celebrate the temporary display of 10 bronze sculptures around downtown.

The 9:30 a.m. festivities at east McCall Park at Collins Street is being billed as the sculptures official unveiling. But they went on display Tuesday.

The ceremony will include speeches by representatives of sponsoring organizations and the distribution of promotional materials.

The life-size sculptures arrived last week and were lifted into place with the help of heavy equipment by city maintenance specialists Jessey Bradshaw, Richard Langford and Scooby Stearns. Each sculpture weighs from 150 pounds to 500 pounds, said Gil Gott, executive director of the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center.

“They are beautiful and very life-like,” said Gott, who spearheaded the effort to secure the traveling exhibit for Plant City.

The sculptures, on display through Nov. 1, have various themes, including a patriotic one entitled Coming Home and one of a couple embracing named Contact. City and business leaders expect visitors to flock to downtown to see the works of art.

The sculptures are located at or near McCall Park, 100 N. Collins St.; historic Union Station, 102 N. Palmer St.; Bruton Memorial Library, 302 N. McLendon St,; and the archives and history center, 106 N. Evers St.

Sponsoring organizations including the city paid the Sculpture Foundation about $12,000 for the temporary display.

The sculptures are from the “Man in the Street” collection created by artist J. Seward Johnson and managed by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based foundation. For a fee, the nonprofit lends sculptures in its collection to cities around the country.

A different set of sculptures created by Johnson were on display in downtown for about four months in 2012. Downtown enjoyed a bump in tourism during that display.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTBO

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