L.A.'s Rock Scene Just Got a Whole Lot Heavier

It's big -- really big -- and it's the new centerpiece of the L.A. art world. 

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A 340-ton, 21-foot-tall boulder has completed its 11 day journey from a quarry 60 miles away in Riverside, Calif., and arrived at its new home at the L.A. Country Museum of Art early this morning, where it will become the centerpiece of a new permanent installation by Nevada artist Michael Heizer called "Levitated Mass." Like a true, larger-than-life star, the monolith was basked in spotlights upon its arrival, where it was greeted by flashbulbs and a cheering crowd of about 500.

From The New York Times:

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s like the Pyramids,” said Sandy Martin, a retired television producer, who had waited nearly three hours for this moment on a warm night drenched in moonlight. “We’ll never see this again in our lifetimes. I cried when I first saw it.”

It took hundreds of people to make the journey happen, manning a convoy that wound a circuitous route through 22 separate cities, navigating "tight corners [and] bridges and narrowly avoiding collision with towering utility poles," the LA Times reports. Police officers, utility workers and construction workers "leapfrogged ahead to lift power lines and turn aside traffic lights" in time for the massive rig's arrival, which was accompanied by flashing red, blue and yellow lights. The rock never moved faster than 8 miles per hour.

Security guard Frank Arevalo grew weary of answering the question, "What is that?" at a Long Beach party in honor of the rock, so he made a sign. [AP]

The rock rode on a custom-built, 200-foot-long transporter. Pictured here, it's attempting to make a sharp turn onto Country Village Road in Glen Avon, Calif. [AP]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.