Hail to Trani! VCU Unveils His Bronze Image 

click to enlarge news21_trani_200.jpg

Do we detect a bit of Cold War revisionist history in the rendering of a new, (approximately) life-sized statue of Virginia Commonwealth University President Eugene P. Trani?

The graven image of the university's diminutive departing dictator … er, president, stands a commanding 5-foot-9. Officials dedicated it May 14 in the atrium of the university's Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Sciences at Cary and Cherry streets, without public fanfare and after students had packed up for home.

Though his legend is sure to grow as the giant of a man who took VCU from sleepy commuter school to sprawling state institution, while almost single-handedly rescuing Richmond's long-languishing Broad Street, it seems unlikely that even a double daily dose of Centrum Silver will inspire any future growth spurts for Trani.

Style Weekly was unable to confirm the retiring president's height. But through a university spokeswoman, Trani once assured Style that he's actually taller than Napoleon Bonaparte. In this new bronze-cast rendering he appears positively statuesque.

Ah, but history is written by the victors, yes? And there's historic precedent to shrinking or stretching our heroes. Biographers and historians still dispute Napoleon's height, which was between 5-foot-2, according to his doctor, and 5-foot-7, according to those who bicker over the difference between a French and an English inch.

Style was unable to determine how many statues of living university presidents are in existence across the country.

Sculpted by School of the Arts alumna Ruby L. Wescoat, the impeccably (other than that height thing) lifelike effigy is far more subdued than some statuary that's been added in recent decades to this city of monuments. Rather than preparing to power serve clambering children like Arthur Ashe at the west end of Monument Avenue, Trani is rendered as subdued and thoughtful as he considers his next global conquest.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

  • Re: New $11.3 Million Bridge Connects Downtown With Manchester

    • Coming to Richmond this weekend. Hope I get to cross the bridge with my daughter!

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: New $11.3 Million Bridge Connects Downtown With Manchester

    • Ms. Sykes' comment is telling; I dont know that itll save me any time, she…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: The Brain-Makers

    • After been diagnose with Parkinson disease seems the end of life for me which i…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • More »
  • More by Chris Dovi

    • Deleted E-mail Could Implicate Wilder Staff

      A missing e-mail relating to the 2007 attempted eviction of the School Board from City Hall could lead to criminal charges.
      • Feb 17, 2010
    • Ukrop's Owners Boot Girl Scouts

      Martin's Food Markets says no to Girl Scout cookies.
      • Feb 17, 2010
    • Charter Bound

      Overmatched politically for years, the charter-school movement now has powerful allies: The fight for Patrick Henry.
      • Feb 17, 2010
    • More »

    Copyright © 2016 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation