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Sign of the Times

The highlights of Tuesday's hearing on the VMFA's controversial electronic sign.



Couldn't make it to Tuesday night's two-and-a-half hours of debate over the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' proposed electronic sign for the Boulevard? Not to worry: Style was there for it all, from the reproach museum board president Pam Reynolds gave the crowd of distinguished (and largely disgruntled) Fan residents to the four separate apologies issued by beleaguered museum director Alex Nyerges. Here's how it went down, in the attendees' own words:

Anti-sign Fan residents and museum neighbors:
- It lacks imagination.
- It's uninspired.
- I thought it was very garish.
- As soon as it's built, it will be obsolete.
- Never… had the museum's neighbors been so ill-treated.
- What has happened to our lady?
- It's a slap in the face.
- It's a TV on two stainless steel sticks.
- It's almost as if you're putting a knife in the Mona Lisa.
- Have you considered other options?

Museum Director Alex Nyerges:
- You're not going to get neon. You're not going to get a flashing sign.
- We're in the 21st century and can operate like we're in the 21st century.
- The number one thing that I absolutely demand … it's accessibility.
- What we're trying to do, is show art.
- We will not be garish.
- We will not be Lee's Chicken.
- I'm going to go home and have a glass of wine.

Political consultant Charlie Diradour, holding a posterboard with pictures of other museums:
- What's wrong with Dallas' sign?

A lone resident's call for reconciliation:
- What is the cost of friendship?

Nyerges said he and Department of General Services Director Richard Sliwoski would take all the feedback into consideration and make a decision about what, if any, changes should be made to the proposed sign.

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