and © Schomberg
Harvey Abrams, President
of the International Institute for Sport and Olympic
History sent me the following press release
ROCKY can be yours!
The bronze statue of Rocky
Balboa, the boxer made famous in the Sylvester
Stallone movies ROCKY III and ROCKY V,
is available to any benefactor who is willing to donate
at least $5 million ($5,000,000) to a Pennsylvania non-profit
corporation by June 18, 2003.
Don't bother bringing your
moving van to Philadelphia, though. The statue
that stands in front of the First Union Spectrum
isn't the one available. It's the other one that's available.
Actually -- it's ROCKY # 3 that's available.
The monumental bronze statue
of ROCKY is world famous and once stood atop the
72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The
statue was made in 1982 for the Sylvester Stallone
movie ROCKY III. After the filming was over, Stallone
graciously donated the statue to the City of Philadelphia.
What followed was a firestorm of debate.
The Art Museum didn't want the
statue on their steps because they claimed it wasn't art, but
rather just a movie prop. The media and public jumped into the
debate. In the end, the statue was moved. The Philadelphia
Art Commission, the people responsible for public art in
the city, moved the 1,500-pound statue to a new location. Today
it stands in front of the First Union Spectrum in South
Philadelphia, where other sports art can also be found.
But in State College, Pennsylvania
-- the hometown of Penn State University -- a new organization
was seeking sports art from around the world to decorate its
planned sports museum. The International Institute for Sport
and Olympic History (IISOH) was planning to open a Library
and Museum devoted to the History of Sport, Physical Education,
Recreation, Dance, Sport in Art and the Olympic Games.
The IISOH, a non-profit educational, literary and research
corporation, originally was planning to purchase a 25,000-square-foot
building to begin operations in 2005.
But plans changed. Now the group is planning to build a 25,000-square-foot
library, 100,000-square-foot museum and a theatre/auditorium,
restaurant/cafe, outdoor sculpture gardens, and lots of sports
fields and facilities on a campus up to 300 acres in order to
enhance its educational mission.
Then along came ROCKY #2
and ROCKY # 3. The president of the IISOH, Harvey
Abrams, found that the artist had actually made the ROCKY
statue in a limited edition of three. So the IISOH signed
a contract to buy the remaining statues that have been in storage
for 20 years. In fact -- they are not even statues -- they are
still only in the original mold and would be cast in bronze
as ROCKY #2/3 and ROCKY #3/3.
The Institute decided that ROCKY # 2 will grace its museum
in central Pennsylvania and ROCKY # 3 will be
given away as a gift to a major donor. The benefactor has to
donate a minimum of $5 million dollars. The IISOH is
raising money for the Institute's Boxing endowment and
Operating Fund. The benefactor is donating money to the non-profit
Institute and will eligible for a tax write-off less the actual
cost of the statue which will only be revealed after the donation.
IRS rules prevail, of course!
The bronze statue is the creation
of artist A. Thomas Schomberg, whose monumental bronzes
grace museums and estates worldwide. Schomberg created
ROCKY in 1982 for Sylvester Stallone and the movie
ROCKY III. The statue has been used in other films such
as MANNIQUIN (Andrew McCarthy) and PHILADELPHIA
(Tom Hanks) as a backdrop. It was used again in ROCKY
V and for that film the statue was moved to the Art Museum
for filming, then returned to the Spectrum permanently.
Why does the benefactor have
until June 18? Well -- according to Abrams -- a donation
of $5 million creates the Boxing Endowment and will also allow
the Institute to make the land acquisition and start the design
process with architects. Hey -- what's $5 million these days?
The IISOH still has to work on the larger $25 million
donations that will endow the Library, the Museum and the Theatre.
So -- boxing fans -- ROCKY
can grace your estate if you have the money.
Then after you get it you can build 72 steps so you can run
and jump to your heart's content.
International Institute for Sport and Olympic History
PO Box 175
State College, PA 16804
tel: (814) 237-8331
fax: (814) 237-8332
Harvey Abrams, President
Bruce Lorich, Treasurer
The International Institute for Sport and Olympic History is
a Pennsylvania non-profit educational, literary and research
corporation under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The IISOH is organized to operate a Library and Museum devoted
to the History of Sport, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance,
Sport in Art and the Olympic Games.
I wonder if anyone will make
- Craig Zablo