Late Thursday evening the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported President Barack Obama will sign a proclamation designating 704,000 acres of Lincoln and Nye counties as the Basin and Range National Monument. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and artist Michael Heizer, are expected to be with President Obama when this and other monument proclamations are signed at The White House Friday.
The “City” project provided some of the impetus for Reid to step up a public preservation campaign in recent years, and to lobby Obama to act on it after it became clear Congress was not going to do so. Both the president and the Nevada senator are leaving office at the end of next year.
Not everyone is celebrating. The R-J is also reporting that Lincoln County Commissioner Kevin Phillips "could barely contain his rage Thursday. 'It’s disgusting. It’s loathsome. It’s illegal. It’s unfair,' he said. 'We feel like we’re not citizens.' "
Art advocacy for Heizer’s “City” included heavy lobbying from Michael Govan, director and CEO of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Govan said in a statement “Heizer is among the greatest living American artists, and he has worked, ostensibly alone in the desert, for more than four decades realizing this monumental achievement."
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.