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New pair of whale tails sculptures in original Vermont spot

July 20, 2019
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Sculptor Jim Sardonis watches as "Whale Dance," a new cast bronze sculpture is installed at the original site near exit 4 in Randolph, Vt., on Interstate 89 Friday, July 19, 2019. Sardonis designed the original pair of whales' tails that were first installed off the interstate in 1989, prompting a double-take from many motorists who spotted the artwork far from the ocean. Those original tales were moved in 1999. (James M. Patterson /The Valley News via AP)
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Sculptor Jim Sardonis watches as "Whale Dance," a new cast bronze sculpture is installed at the original site near exit 4 in Randolph, Vt., on Interstate 89 Friday, July 19, 2019. Sardonis designed the original pair of whales' tails that were first installed off the interstate in 1989, prompting a double-take from many motorists who spotted the artwork far from the ocean. Those original tales were moved in 1999. (James M. Patterson /The Valley News via AP)

RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) — A new pair of whales’ tails is back on a Randolph hillside where an earlier set spent a decade before being moved up Vermont’s Interstate 89 to South Burlington.

Artist Jim Sardonis designed the original pair of whales’ tails that were first installed off the interstate in 1989, prompting a double-take from many motorists who spotted the artwork far from the ocean. Those original tales were moved in 1999.

On Friday, Sardonis watched as a new pair of the 16-foot (4.88-meter), about 3,000 pound (1361 kilogram) bronze pieces of art were lowered into the same location as the originals.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont helped raise the $1 million to buy back the land where the original tails once stood. The Vermont Community Foundation commissioned the new art.

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Sculptor Jim Sardonis watches as "Whale Dance," a new cast bronze sculpture is installed at the original site near exit 4 in Randolph, Vt., on Interstate 89 Friday, July 19, 2019. Sardonis designed the original pair of whales' tails that were first installed off the interstate in 1989, prompting a double-take from many motorists who spotted the artwork far from the ocean. Those original tales were moved in 1999. (James M. Patterson /The Valley News via AP)