Controversy arises over donated park statue - KCTV5

Controversy arises over donated park statue

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Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Heather Staggers. Image has been digitally altered. Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Heather Staggers. Image has been digitally altered.

A statue at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is raising some eyebrows - some even say it has no place in the park.

One mother has started a petition to get a particular sculpture removed from a public park because of its nudity. But some disagree and say art should not be censored.

"There's no standard for art. Some people think that porn is a form of art. There's got to be a line and the city has crossed that line," Joanne Hughes said.

Hughes wants a sculpture removed from the Overland Park Arboretum.

The sculpture titled Choice is part of an international art exhibit. The artist is from China. Eleven pieces were donated as a gift to the arboretum but, gift or not, Hughes wants it gone.

She believes it sends a message to young children that taking nude pictures of oneself is acceptable and said one mother has already seen a teen imitate the sculpture.

But the city said the sculpture of the headless woman taking a picture of herself is part of the artist's message.

"The piece is saying focus on your mind, heart and soul. When we meet somebody, don't focus on that other stuff. Focus on the mind, body and soul," Sean Reilly with the city of Overland Park said.

"It's OK to take your clothes off and take nude pictures? And as an adult I understand that. It's not something I'm going to do, but maybe something an impressionable youth will think is acceptable," Hughes said.

Reilly said the sculptures are only there temporarily and will be moved to a nearby sight that currently needs landscaping.

Hughes said she's gotten more than 1,500 signatures to have it taken out.

Click here for The Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park.

Click here for the City of Overland Park.

Click here for the petition to remove the sculpture at the arboretum.

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