Vandal-ravaged naked statue taken down, artist says removal may be permanent
Canadian Press Friday, February 25, 2005
PENTICTON, B.C. (CP) - The city's infamous naked statue endured a final indignity Friday after someone attempted to kick the legs right out from under the sculpture formally known as The Baggage Handler.
"It's all cracked all the way up the back of the calves," said Kurtis Collins, a curator for the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan.
Vandals attacked the statue's appendage in late January on the nude erected in middle of the roundabout at the entrance to a marina. Collins said the work, featuring a nude, two-metre man holding a suitcase, surrounded by 24 old suitcases, has been damaged at least once every few days since someone hammered off its genitals.
Frank - as the locals call him - not only had his penis knocked off but he was spray-painted green.
The statue was taken down temporarily for repairs but the controversy has caused so much trouble for its creator he said Friday he wants it taken down permanently.
"It's so vulnerable that we could not leave it up another day," said artist Michael Hermesh, who has been disgusted with the vandals' "childish" behaviour.
"He stands proud for stupidity now and do I want to make a monument to stupidity? Not really."
Hermesh said he is moving the artwork indoors because the damage it has sustained could become much worse if the plaster statue is left outside.
"Water is going to get through where the seal is broken with the epoxy and he's not safe. He's only an inside piece from now on."
The sculpture's lack of clothing upset Mayor David Perry and several citizens who demanded it be taken down shortly after it was unveiled early in January.
Collins said he hoped a deal could be worked out with Hermesh to keep the statue outdoors in Penticton but could not predict Frank's fate.
"There's a number of possibilities. It's hard to say right now because I don't know for sure," said Collins.
© The Canadian Press 2005
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02-28-2005, 03:43 PM #1
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Vandal-ravaged Naked Statue Taken DownIf you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)
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02-28-2005, 04:07 PM #2
Poor Frank.May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.
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02-28-2005, 04:13 PM #3
Did Moncia or Lorena Bobbitt do this???
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02-28-2005, 05:37 PM #4
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- Westlake, Ohio
Or former Attorney General, John Ashcroft?
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