For more than a decade, a bloody bird, 13 feet tall and without a scalp, has stood at Miami Dade College’s downtown campus.
But now the spooky sculpture — dubbed The Wounded Peace Dove — has taken flight.
The landmark was discreetly removed with a crane and taken last month to a new home in Montgomery, Alabama.
For about 11 years, the sculpture made its nest at Wolfson Campus’ main plaza at the intersection of Northeast Second Avenue and Fourth Street before being moved to a more secluded area, according to the college newspaper The Reporter.
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But it’s been moved to make more space for events including the upcoming Miami Book Fair, according to college officials.
“We kept it there for a while, but it started to obstruct foot traffic and the ability to place tents for events,” said Juan Mendieta, MDC’s director of communications.
But the bloody bird’s treatment doesn’t sit well with creator Fred “Nall” Hollis.
“It was moved behind a wall and under a tree,” Hollis told the Miami Herald on Sunday. “I had loaned it to the college, and to find out it was moved so many years ago was disappointing.
“So I think the time had come that it needed a new home. It was a really sad way to end things.”
The bodacious piece, which now sits at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus, sparked plenty of conversation. Was the bird —with its right claw torn off — a pigeon? A dove?
Nall said it’s up to interpretation.
The sculpture, which was commissioned in Italy by Father Vincenzo Coli, custodian of the Franciscan convent in Assisi for an exhibit at the St. Francis Basilica.
The meaning of the bird? Damaged universal peace.
The Reporter said Nall “used a live pigeon as a model when creating the statue. Nall wanted the dove statue to represent damaged universal peace. In an effort to ensure the statue was properly disfigured, he told his assistant to kill the pigeon and ‘bring me his skull. But first, Nall requested the assistant remove the flesh from the skull and boil it to sanitize. The artist then grabbed his modeling knife, stabbed the statue’s forehead and peeled off half of its face to form the skull.”
Follow Monique O. Madan on Twitter: @MoniqueOMadan