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GVSU officials say sculpture used in ‘wrecking ball’ parody videos will be reinstalled soon

Nicci Joyce

This week officials at Grand Valley State University will begin meeting to consider how to reinstall a sculpture that became the subject of several viral videos this month.

GVSU removed the steel pendulum a few weeks ago after several students posted videos online of friends trying to swing on the sculpture. The parodies of Miley Cyrus’ music video “Wrecking Ball” attracted national news media attention.


“It is somewhat of a fun story. It's college students being college students,” said Tim Thimmesch, associate vice president for facility services at GVSU.

“I don’t want to overreact to anything but obviously we needed to make sure that the sculpture was safe,” he said.

Thimmesch says the pendulum was intended to be a scientific exhibit, not a ride. He says it was donated to the university forty years ago. There were already concerns about its structural integrity before the Cyrus mock-up videos surfaced.

Thimmesch will begin meeting with select students this week to get input on the best options to reinstall the piece.

“The intent is not for anybody to continue to use this as a ride. Again the intent will be to have this reinstalled as a scientific exhibit,” Thimmesch said.

“(Students) respect our artwork, our sculptures on campus now, and I think they will in the future. So honestly, I’m not worried about that,” he added.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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