Massive statue of nude woman sparks debate in East Bay

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- San Leandro is officially welcoming its newest neighbor - a woman who's 55 feet tall and made of steel. Finally finished, it towers over the entrance to San Leandro's new tech campus.

Artist Marco Cochrane made Truth Is Beauty as the second of three sculptures called the Bliss Project.

The sculpture asks: What would the world be like if women were safe?

"As someone who is a survivor of rape and sexual abuse myself, I realized that this represented my story," shared Deborah Acosta, San Leandro's Chief Innovation Officer.

Acosta wanted to make a home for the sculpture after it was displayed at burning man.

"The messaging is to look past the skin, the inner strength and the beauty that all of us have," she said.

But not everyone sees it that way.

"I think it's very inappropriate to have like a naked body just like that. And it's huge, you can't miss it," said one resident.

But the tide may be changing.

"As people have heard the backstory, we have found that most people have embraced it," said Gaye Quinn, Westlake Urban Planning Managing Director.

Ten years ago, Deja Solis modeled for these sculptures in poses she picked.

"The point of the work is that she's a real person. And that you should be able to see her as a real person even if she's nude," said artist Cochrane.

As for San Leandro, it's a message to the tech industry that is so often criticized for lacking diversity, that in these workplaces, women are welcome.

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