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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Sculpture saved, trees removed at ‘Moses’ house

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The home on Twelfth Street in the Claremont Village where a beloved sculpture by Charles Chase was rescued last week continues to generate interest after it was discovered that four city of Claremont street trees were cut down in the process of overhauling the landscaping.

Community Services Director Jeremy Swan said that one tree on Twelfth and three trees on Cambridge that belonged to the city were cut down by work crews last week. The trees, an Oklahoma red bud, a Chinese elm and two ginkgo biloba, also called maidenhair, were valued at $8,600. The property owner will be billed for the trees plus $3,300 to plant new trees for a total of $11,900.

Mr. Swan said that it appeared to be a case of an out-of-town owner who simply did not know that the trees did not belong to the property owner, but were in fact on a city easement. Additionally, rumors that there were other code violations including unpermitted construction at the property are false according to code enforcement.

Meanwhile, Moses is still residing at its temporary home on Twelfth waiting for the next move. The sculpture’s permanent placement was brought up during the public art committee meeting on Monday, but no decision has been made.

Claremont Heritage Executive Director David Shearer said he received a dozen or more requests from private property owners who expressed interest in providing a home for Moses. The plan is to hold a meeting via Zoom with all of the people who have expressed interest in Moses along with Mr. Shearer, Mr. Swan, Pubic Information Officer Bevin Handel and someone from Mr. Chase’s family to decide the best place in Claremont to re-home Moses.

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