OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Several families strolling through sculptures at Overland Park's Arboretum have stumbled on one they found obscene.
"I was just shocked something like this ended up in a family venue, said Joanne Hughes. Since the Hughes family came here almost a month ago, they've gathered 2,700 signatures to get the statue moved.
"It is an interesting dialogue," said Sean Reilly with the City of Overland Park, Kan. "And that's what art does. We've had both those who say retain it and those to say move it."
City Council members will not schedule a public hearing for Hughes. Reilly says they never schedule hearings for general items and have no plans to remove the sculpture despite receiving complaints from 20 different states.
"The city does not view it as obscene," said Reilly.
"Oh wow, wow," said Overland Park mother Jennifer Stewart, who had never seen the sculpture until we showed her.
We found her as she was walking her children through this sculpture garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. That's also where the shuttlecocks created a stir in the mid 90s, and around the same time the pylons above Bartlett Hall brewed controversy.
A year later, a statue at Kansas City Police headquarters called Modern Communication had people talking - but none of those debates focused on obscenity. That is what Stewart can't get over.
"I consider myself very liberal and a little laid-back... I hate censoring stuff, but there's a time and place for everything," she said.
This sculpture's time and place? The arboretum, at least for now.
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