Michigan man must dismantle art for violating junk ordinance

ST. JOHNS, Mich. (AP) — A blue plastic duck is all that can remain of a Michigan man’s outdoor art installation after a district judge ruled that he must remove thousands of found objects featured in the project because they violate an anti-junk ordinance.

Clinton County District Court Judge Michael Clarizio on Wednesday gave artist Robert Park 45 days to remove the items along a pathway on his property, The Lansing State Journal reports . Park must also pay $250 in fines and court costs.

Park, 72, spent two years creating “The Blue Loop,” which displays upcycled blue items along a 1,000-foot-long (305-meter) path. A town ordinance that bans the outdoor storage of junk classifies almost all of the pieces in Park’s display as junk. The plastic duck was the only object that didn’t fit the definition of junk.

Clarizio said he thought Park was a “talented artist” and that the art installation was “interesting.”

“I have to follow what the law says, not what my heart says,” he said.

Dave Vincent, the township code enforcement officer, read a complaint from an unnamed neighbor who said the installation “looks like a junkyard.”

Park has said that the project is art and a way he expresses himself.

“Apparently Bath Township is banning outdoor artwork if one person complains about it,” Park said. “That’s ridiculous to me.”

Park’s attorney, William Metros, said he plans to appeal. Metros said Park’s work enhances the area.

“What Mr. Park does on a daily basis adds charm, it doesn’t subtract from the charm,” he said.


Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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