04/12/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Maya Lin's Last Memorial Highlights The Environment

The growing degradation of the natural world haunts Lin -- celebrated as the creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the reinventor of the American memorial genre -- as she pulls together the plans for what she says will be her "last memorial."

The title of this work-in-progress, like many of the details, is evolving: Perhaps "What is Missing," perhaps simply "Missing." But the theme is clear: Lin's finale will grieve for the animals, birds and plants driven into extinction -- and warn of the urgency of acting now to halt the devastation.

Lin envisions it as a multisite chronicle, including photography and video, at places around the world and with a commemorative list of names -- this time the names of extinct species. It is to be launched with a memorial table on Earth Day in April 2009 commissioned by the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, which chose her design to include inits new building in Golden Gate Park, an academy spokeswoman said.

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