Q: Why are commissioned art pieces for Metro stations destroyed after they’re removed?
A: On the rare occasion when a Metro art installation is taken down (usually for safety or security reasons), it’s disposed of to protect the integrity of the original work. “No artist wants to find their artwork appropriated by a used-car lot in San Bernardino,” says Maya Emsden, deputy executive director of the MTA. Before any art goes to that great gallery in the sky, however, the creator can retrieve it. The family of Gilbert “Magu” Luján, who sculpted a white limousine for the Hollywood and Vine station, took the piece when it was removed to make room for the W Hotel. They are still looking for a place to permanently park the large object. Maybe a used-car lot isn’t such a bad idea.