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City Orders Whitewash of Graffiti Art Project

City Orders Whitewash of Graffiti Art Project



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- The graffiti art splashed across the walls of a building will be getting a whitewash after city officials said it's just not art.

The Wall Art Gallery had turned its outdoor facade into a canvas for local artists two weeks ago.

"I'm disgusted with their opinion that the only art there is is landscapes and flowers," artist Milt Neeley said. "But it's not my building, so there is nothing I can do about it."

Citing complaints from residents and staff, Ogden's chief administrative officer said the idea went astray.

"There is as much graffiti on the building as there is artwork," John Patterson said. "It was supposed to be paintings and murals. Unfortunately, there is a lot of other graffiti on there that is not in any way art."

He said any other building in the city with a similar display would be treated the same.

"What has happened there is more disturbing to the community than enhancing to it," Patterson said.

Neeley is frustrated because the art isn't profane. He said he cautioned artists to avoid controversial topics on the building at 20th Street and Wall Avenue.

The building's owner, Gadi Leshem, a California-based developer, saw similar art projects succeed in other areas.

"Not everyone likes what Michelangelo did, but there are those that do," Neeley said. "To me, this is another expression, another form of art, and some of it is really pretty and nice to look at and some of it isn't."

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Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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