Friday, March 30, 2007

Darth Vader at the Washington National Cathedral

This would be the perfect place for a "transition from Republic to Empire" joke, but I'm coming down with a cold and am not feeling very snarky today. Instead we will simply file this under "Sometimes Reality is Cooler than You Expect."

Darth Vader is one of the numerous carved grotesques on the Cathedral. Like gargoyles, grotesques carry rain water away from the building’s walls. Gargoyles carry away excess water via pipes running through their mouths; grotesques deflect rainwater by bouncing it off the top of their heads, noses or other projecting parts, and away from the stone walls.
How did Darth Vader, a fictional villain from the Star Wars movies, end up on the wall of Washington National Cathedral?
In the 1980s the Cathedral, with National Geographic World magazine, sponsored a competition for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska who submitted a drawing of this futuristic representation of evil.

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