BP America is paying $96,000 to have the 48-foot-long metal sculpture, FREE STAMP, cleaned and repainted. Designed by Pop Artist Claes Oldenburg and his late wife Coosje van Bruggen, the rubber stamp sculpture has been lying/leaning in a park in downtown Cleveland since 1991. It had been considered, by some, a symbol of Cleveland’s resurgence after the city’s default in 1978.
FREE STAMP was commissioned in 1982 by Standard Oil Company of Ohio (SOHIO). The sculpture was intended to sit outside of SOHIO’s new headquarters. But after BP (then British Petroleum) acquired SOHIO, the stamp sculpture was given to the city. The sculpture was manufactured by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company. BP is one of CB&I’s biggest clients.