Freedom Sculpture unveiled in LA as Iranian-American community gift

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A crowd estimated at more than 50,000 came out Tuesday for the unveiling of the Freedom Sculpture, a gift from the Iranian-American community that now adorns Santa Monica Boulevard.

The sculpture is seen as a symbol of liberty and diversity.

"We're calling it the Statue of Liberty for the West Coast," said Farhad Mohit, with the Farhang Foundation. "It's a monument to what we embody here in Los Angeles. It's a monument to diversity, human rights."

The Farhang Foundation received more than 300 submissions before choosing the design by British artist Cecil Balmond, who designed London's towering ArcelorMittal Orbit for the 2012 Olympics.

The sculpture is a large golden-colored cylinder within a larger silver cylinder. The design represents an interpretation of an ancient Persian artifact that is considered to be the first declaration of human rights.

Donations of more than $2 million from dozens of countries paid for the sculpture.

The sculpture is located at Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park East in Century City.

Passers-by will see sunlight reflecting off the permanent installation's silver-colored cylinder during the day. Its gold-colored cylinder will be illuminated at night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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