Tag: Government Waste

Public Art Or Public Nuisance? Mound Of Dirt Art That Won’t Go Away

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Those familiar with the former federal office building in Wenatchee, Washington, who have actually noticed, are familiar with the strange earthen mounds situated at the Northwest of the property. They were constructed in 1981 by Artist Stan Dolega who received $19,000.00 (about $54,000.00 today) from the government to place the dirt, a concrete retaining wall, and sod.

Anecdotally, the work faced much criticism since its inception as being the archetype of government waste through mandatory spending on artwork. It was not popular with those in the community and faced considerable ridicule as to its lack of utility, and that could credibly be claimed that the government paid nearly twenty grand for a pile of dirt.

Now the city wants to remove the mounds to make room for additional parking but discovered that it cannot due to a covenant designed to protect a problematic artwork that simply will not go away.

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