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Money woes delay Boston Marathon memorial

Boston Herald

March 21. 2018 8:46PM

BOSTON — A memorial to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims that was due to be unveiled at this year’s race next month remains unfinished and won’t be installed in time, due to a funding delay.

The city announced last April that an artist, Pablo Eduardo, had been selected to build two large pillars at the Boylston Street bombing sites, with a completion date scheduled for next month.

But the Boston Planning & Development Agency wasn’t scheduled to distribute $1 million in funding for the project until just last week. And even then, the funding was removed from the agency’s agenda at the last minute due to a clerical error, according to Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office.

“It’s unfortunate there’s a delay,” said Peter Brown, whose two nephews, J.P. and Paul Norden, both lost limbs and suffered burns and shrapnel injuries in the bombings. “I hope it’s not about a lack of will.”

Martin Richard, 8, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Lingzi Lu, 23, were killed in the bombings, which injured 264 people. Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death. His brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown after murdering MIT police Officer Sean Collier.

Eduardo said in a statement that his portion of the work, the sculpting of the commemorative pillars, “is progressing well. It will be beautiful.”

“It is of paramount importance that both the markers and memorial commemorating the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings are done in a way that is thoughtful, inclusive and in partnership with the very best talent,” Walsh said last night in a statement, “and we will take the time that is needed to ensure that these installations are of the highest standard.”

Groundwork has begun on Boylston Street, where the sidewalk is being expanded, the mayor’s office said, and formal construction is expected to begin in the next few months.

Last April, the city also requested proposals for consultants to develop plans for a separate memorial structure apart from the pillars. Three firms submitted proposals last June, but all of them were rejected in January.

“The responses received from the original (request for proposals) indicated that the city needed to refine the language to receive the robust responses we’re hoping for, including a respondent with background in trauma,” a mayoral spokesman said.

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