What is the timeline of a bad decision? What is the lifespan of carved red granite?

D K Row of The Oregonian floated a solution for the RACC / PDC Chinese Dragon, deaccessed over the weekend from the corner of 4th & NW Davis after local businesses objected to the posture and position of the figure – not to mention the steel gauntlet wrapped around it’s neck.

The solution apparently comes from a clutch of Buddhists from up in Clatskanie. Sight unseen, they don’t object to its posture or position, and freed from the heavy metal collar it would find a good home in their new monastery. One problem lies in the way – the City of Portland reportedly paid $22,000 for the sculpture, good or bad.

See D K Row – Brian, meet your friends at the monastery

And following it up, see D K Row – Enter the Dragon

Perhaps in all the fuss artist Brian Goldbloom still owns the artwork and is at liberty to sell the sculpture or give it away. If so, that’s a reasonable solution.

But I don’t think Goldbloom owns the sculpture anymore. The city of Portland owns the sculpture, and unless the Buddhists cough up $22,000 – they can’t have it.

Here is a solution which resolves the big and small problems.

The sculpture now contains a completely different, important, and distinct meaning. Carved red granite lasts thousands of years and will certainly carry its new meaning for at least a generation.

I suggest the dragon be installed in a discreet but public niche at City Hall, perhaps under a stairwell, to be visited by anxious bureaucrats prior to making difficult decisions. Relief, insight, and perhaps wisdom will be found contemplating the history of the Dragon, and from experiencing it’s piercing scowl.

Add an incense burner, a small gong, and an 8 x 10 inch bronze plaque listing Niebuhr’s serenity prayer. Forever after – or at least until the next big remodel – city staffers seeking good luck and good fortune with community engagement can use the Dragon as a totem for meditation, contemplation and self-reflection.

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