Business Trumps Artistic Integrity

When famed sculptor David Phillips created gigantic bronze crabs and frogs to graze on the lawn at Boston's scenic Eastport Park, he considered the surrounding environment a pivotal component of the overall creation.

But recently, Fidelity Investment, the company that commissioned Phillips to create the art in 1999, decided to remove and relocate several of Phillips' sculptures to make way for renovations. Phillip filed suit, claiming the company violated the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of 1990. According to the Act, "in a work of 'site-specific art,' one of the component physical objects is the location of the art. To remove a work of site-specific art from its original site is to destroy it."

staff Writer

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