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Free Stamp, Cleveland

2.6
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183 reviews
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  • The original location of this "very large work of art" (in the form of a gigantic stamp) was before the Standard Oil / Ohio headquarters [also known as "Sohio"] headquarters (which opened a 45-story building in downtown Cleveland in 1985). The two sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were commissioned to design the largest stamp in the world. The couple worked together for weeks to create a giant one-metre-long red stamp with the word "free" on the bottom. The word "free" was chosen because the Cleveland Soldier and Sailor's Monument was located directly opposite the Sohio Building, which honors Civil War soldiers and the freedom of slavery. BP bought "Sohio" at the time, so that the building in front of the sculpture was also deemed "inappropriate" (allegedly, the word "free" would mock and humiliate BP for taking away sohio's "entrepreneurial freedom"). Although this accusation was completely unfounded and false, the giant stamp was finally banished from the property. As a result, the sculpture was "relocated" to Willard Park and is now in the direction of the Rock Hall of Fame.
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