'Los Angeles embodies diversity.' The city's new sculpture celebrating freedom is unveiled

Ali Razi fled Iran in 1978, came to Los Angeles, and found a place where he could thrive. He traced much of his success and that of others here to one core principle: freedom.

On Tuesday — the Fourth of July — the prominent developer, now 77, was on hand to unveil a new public art installation in Los Angeles, the Freedom Sculpture, which Razi and others in the Iranian American community hope will be a beacon for the world.

“America is great because of all the beautiful cultures brought by immigrants,” Razi said. When people drive by the sculpture along Santa Monica Boulevard, he said, he hopes they ask: “What is this freedom? This shared dream is based on what?”

Artist and designer Cecil Balmond agrees it is a symbol of timeless values of freedom and tolerance. Balmond, whose proposal was chosen from among more than 300 others as the design for the $2.2-million sculpture, said the pair of gold and silver cylinders set atop rings is to be seen at speed.

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Chris Alexakisart, L.A.