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An artist Friday offered to change the title of his sculpture "Hunky Steelworker," and the festival displaying it agreed, quieting criticism by offended steelworkers and ethnic groups.

The 12-foot-tall statue is the most prominently displayed sculpture in the Three Rivers Arts Festival.Croatians and other Eastern Europeans in western Pennsylvania's steel towns consider the term "hunky" a slur.

"It's not the art, it's just the word `hunky,"' said John P. Plesh, secretary-treasurer of the Croatian Fraternal Union. "The statue is nice."

The artist, Luis Jimenez of Hondo, N.M., said Friday he had hired a fiberglass company to scour the word "Hunky" from the base of the statue.

The term originated in the late 1800s to describe people of Hungarian descent, but its use was expanded quickly as an insult toward anyone whose ancestors came from central Europe.