County commissioners already have expressed their doubts about the program. At a May meeting of the county's Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee, Commissioner Javier Souto surmised that the missing works were stolen.
"Maybe they're in South America or in Europe," he said.
Said Commissioner Katy Sorenson: "They're just now part of the art in private places department."
It's not just missing public art that worries Shack, the former county commissioner. She is also bothered that artworks have been allowed to deteriorate and then put into storage.
"We have to have some absolutely marvelous pieces throughout this county that we don't know about," she says. "That they're falling into disrepair, or that they're warehoused, is really a disgrace."
Among the warehoused works no longer considered part of the collection are Nam June Paik's Miami and Wing -- multimedia installations made of TV sets, neon lights, propellers and other items -- which are stored at Miami's Bakehouse Art Complex.
Paik, who died in Miami Beach in January 2006, is hailed as the inventor of video art and created the works at the height of his career, says Trasobares, the former program director.
The county paid $70,000 for Miami and $95,000 for Wing in 1989. The works were installed at the airport but were damaged by vandals and thieves, a fire that started inside one of the installations, and water damage from an airport bar situated above one of the works.
While the county retains the rights to the works, Rodriguez estimates that it would cost more than $100,000 to rebuild them, and he has no plans to do so.
"It's not meant to be precious museum quality that should be around for hundreds of years," he says.
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