Queen Shamiram Statue Site Finalists Selected

Courtesy of the City of Turlock

A City of Turlock subcommittee has named two sites as finalists to host a donated statue of Queen Shamiram, the first female ruler of the Neo Assyrian Empire – and neither one is California State University, Stanislaus.

The statue will now, most likely, be sited either outside of either the Carnegie Arts Center or Turlock City Hall.

“Aesthetically, we think it could work well in either area,” said Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commissioner Andrew Davoodian, who sits on the Shamiram site selection subcommittee.

At the community's request, the subcommittee consisting of Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Commissioners and Turlock City Arts Commissioners first focused doggedly on siting the statue at CSU Stanislaus. But CSU Stanislaus Interim President Joe Sheley told subcommittee members last month that the college could not accept the statue for at least two years, and would possibly never take the statue.

Subcommittee members then decided to double-down on finding an appropriate City of Turlock-owned site for the statue, rather than wait for CSU Stanislaus. The two finalist sites were selected during a Monday subcommittee meeting.

The nine-foot tall bronze statue of Shamiram was donated to the City of Turlock in January by Narsai David, a chef, radio, and television personality, originally of Turlock. David has reviewed both sites and tentatively granted his approval, Davoodian said.

That hasn't always been the case. David objected to two of the four sites previously named finalists – the Turlock Senior Center and the Assyrian-American Civic Club. The City of Turlock struck another site from the old finalist list – the under-construction Public Safety Facility – as a public artwork plan has already been accepted for the development.

Even the two current finalist sites could yet be rejected, should they not accommodate the statue's size.

“It's hard for the committee to continue to move on,” said Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Superintendent Erik Schulze. “If they need a 20-foot area, it might not work (at City Hall).”

According to Schulze, David will meet with the statue's sculptor in the next week to determine exactly how much space will be needed to install the statue, including all associated lighting or seating. David and the sculptor are then likely to come down to Turlock to review the potential sites in person.

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