How long is permanent?


Lin Utzon tile mural, San Jose Convention Center

Scot Herhold wrote a pitch-perfect, elegaic question mark about the possible demise of the mural on the facade of the San Jose Convention Center.

“The reason? The convention center is planning an expansion that would add roughly a third to its overall square footage. And the Utzon mural is in the way.

“‘We know to make the expansion work, it’s smack dab where that piece stands,’ said Bill Ekern, the redevelopment project manager.

“‘We can’t save it as it is, or cut holes in it. You’d end up cutting so much of it off that what you’d have left would be marginal at best.’

“Is this an outrage that art lovers should band together to protest? When I ask people about it, I get a shrug. Even sadder, I shrug myself.

“That says two things. First, it’s tribute to our short memory span. It cost a million bucks 20 years ago? Well, that was then, and who remembers?

“Second, for all its joyous color, the Utzon mural never had much to do with San Jose. It could have been art designed by extraterrestrials landing on San Carlos Street.”