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National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder.

National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder

Field review by the editors.

Reno, Nevada

Unveiled on August 27, 1989, described as "accessible and inaccessible, superficial and profound," this oddly shaped blocky green thing stands 23 feet high. It's the work of Basque sculptor Nestor Basterretxea, who called it "Solitude."

The sculpture stands at a sports complex that was once a sheep range tended by Basque immigrants, who came to America from the western nook of the Pyrenees, tucked between Spain and France. Eventually they became established ranchers and farmers, and pooled together enough money to pay for this thing.

Basterretxea explained his sculpture by saying, "A herder is much more than a man dressed as a herder." Its blockiness, he said, conveys physical strength, and its name, "Solitude," reflects that sheepherders often tended their flocks alone for months on end.

National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder

2975 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV
North edge of the city. From NV-659/N. McCarran Blvd turn north at the stoplight onto N. Virginia St. Drive a quarter-mile. Turn left (no stoplight) into the Reno Sports Complex. Park at the far western end of the lot, then follow the short trail to the monument.
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