SAN FRANCISCO — In true pop-up art fashion, a nearly 7-foot-tall monolith made of gingerbread mysteriously appeared on a San Francisco hilltop on Christmas Day and collapsed the next day.
The three-sided tower, held together by icing and decorated with a few gumdrops, delighted the city on Friday when word spread about its existence.
During his morning run, Ananda Sharma told KQED-FM he climbed to Corona Heights Park to see the sunrise when he spotted what he thought was a big post. He said he smelled the scent of gingerbread before realizing what it was.
"It made me smile. I wonder who did it, and when they put it there," he said.
People trekked to the park throughout the day, even as light rain fell on the ephemeral, edible art object. In one video posted online, someone took a bite of the gingerbread.
Phil Ginsburg, head of city's Recreation and Parks Department, told KQED the site "looks like a great spot to get baked" and confirmed his staff will not remove the monument "until the cookie crumbles."
It did by Saturday morning, a fitting end to what was surely an homage to the discovery and swift disappearance of a shining metal monolith in Utah's red-rock desert last month. It became a subject of fascination around the world as it evoked the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" and drew speculation about its otherworldly origins.
The still-anonymous creator of the Utah monument did not secure permission to plant the hollow, stainless steel object on public land.
A similar metal structure was found and quickly disappeared on a hill in northern Romania. Days later, another monolith was discovered at the pinnacle of a trail in Atascadero, California, but it was later dismantled by a group of young men, city officials said.