A group of California men have stepped forward as the creators of the mysterious monolith that appeared in Atascadero last week.
The four artists revealed themselves in a YouTube video on December 7, which showed them mounting a replacement structure on Pine Mountain after the original was toppled by pranksters, The New York Times reported.
Wade McKenzie, one of the stainless steel column’s creators, told the newspaper, “We intended for it to be a piece of guerrilla art.”
“But when it was taken down in such a malicious manner,” he added, according to NYT. “We decided we needed to replace it.”
McKenzie said he built the piece, which was 10 feet long, with his friends Travis Kenney, Travis’ father Randall Kenny and Jared Riddle, the newspaper continued.
The infamous monolith first appeared last week after two predecessors garnered national media attention when they erected in Utah and Romania before disappearing, PEOPLE Magazine reported. McKenzie told The New York Times that the Romanian monolith inspired the group of men to create the California structure.
“After the second one popped up in Romania, we were like, ‘There needs to be a third,'” McKenzie said, according to the newspaper. “And then we were like ‘Screw it, why not us?'”
After it was torn down, McKenzie said to NYT that he suggested to Mayor Heather Moreno that a permanent structure be installed somewhere else within the city.
“But she said no, the best spot would be back up on the hill,” he told the newspaper.
And so they did just that.
“It’s got about 500 pounds of concrete in there. No joke,” McKenzie revealed to The New York Times.
Here’s what you need to know:
McKenzie Said It Took the Group a Few Hours to Build the Original Structure, According to the New York Times
The New York Times reported that McKenzie said it took the artists “just a few hours to build the original structure.” They then hauled the heavy art piece two miles up the 1,300-foot mountain trail, the newspaper continued.
McKenzie joked that the group is “nearly 50 years old,” according to NYT.
“Not to boast, but we motored up that thing,” he said. “We’re all nearly 50 years old, and it proved we were all in pretty good shape to be able to carry a 200-pound piece up a mountain in a relatively short period of time.”
McKenzie expressed to the newspaper that they had no inclination that the monolith could garner such virality.
“We had no idea this would go viral,” he said, NYT reported. “People were driving from four hours away from L.A. or San Francisco to see it.”
Other Monoliths Are Now Popping up Around the Globe
Other monoliths have since made appearances around the globe, according to BBC News.
Another structure was reported by the outlet on December 7 on an island off the south coast of England, the Isle of Wight.
Alexia Fishwick, a resident of the Isle, expressed to BBC News that she was “dumbstruck” when she stumbled upon the eerily-similar monolith.
“I’d read about the one in Utah and then Romania, so I knew the significance,” she told the outlet. “[It was] really quite magical.”
Two others in the United States were also seen in Las Vegas and Los Padres National Forest in Golet, California, The New York Times reported.
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