Artist: The Fountain and Falls shop owners and the storeﾒs manager Chuck Cole
Confronting Bodies: Residents in Polk County town; Polk County government officials
Date of Action: Polk County, Florida USA
Specific Location: 2001
Description of Artwork: The 500-pound, 5-foot concrete statue in question is a replica of Michelangeloﾒs great masterpiece, ﾓDavidﾔ. (Pictured above: a photograph of Michelangeloﾒs original ﾓDavidﾔ on permanent display at the Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno ("Academy of the Art of Design") in Florence, Italy).
Description of Incident: The replica of the anatomically correct masterpiece, considered one of the worldﾒs greatest treasures was put up outside the ﾓFountain and Fallsﾔ shop by the storeﾒs manager, Chuck Cole. The statue was placed in front of the business along a busy thoroughfare through the small town of Polk County, Florida. Residents in the town of 3,800 objected to the naked statue bringing their complaints to City Hall. ﾓI didnﾒt even know it was art [ﾅ], to me, itﾒs just a naked man standing on the side of the roadﾔ said Jeanne Johnson who was among those who complained to City Hall. The controversy prompted City Manager Jim Drumm to look into the cityﾒs code and statutes to see if the sculpture violated obscenity laws. Drumm said, ﾓThereﾒs nothing legally we could do about it since we canﾒt regulate art, but the people were demanding that we do something [ﾅ]. As a matter of courtesy, we asked the store owners to put a cloth around the statueﾔ.
Results of Incident: Ultimately, Chuck Cole, the store manager of Fountain and Falls, who put David outside the business, bowed to pressure and wrapped a cloth around the Biblical figureﾒs waste. Cole, did not like the request, but he obliged saying, ﾓThis is a representation of a classic masterpiece. Itﾒs art, not obscenity.ﾔ Poking fun at the incident, Cole said he intends to replace the plain white cloth with a leopard-print bandanna: ﾓI figure if Iﾒm going to have to cover him, I might as well do it in style.ﾔ
Source: Orlando Sentinel: Central Florida News archives: www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Submitted By: NCAC