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The sculpture is shaped like an ellipse, and its legume-like appearance has caused it to be nicknamed “The Bean”. It is made of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates, and stands at 33 feet high, 66 feet long, and 42 feet wide, weighing 110 tons. From a distance it could be mistaken for a huge drop of mercury, while up close its highly reflective surface captures and transforms the skyline, the downtown cityscape and even the passers-by into a wonderfully warped new vista. The artist, Anish Kapoor, has referred to the sculpture as “a gate to Chicago, a poetic idea about the city it reflects.” The 12-foot underbelly is called the “omphalos” or navel and multiplies reflections in a vortex.
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