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Maintenance Worker Mistakenly Trashed A Public Sculpture

Osman's assistant Alex Reyes, right, sits next to a passerby lying on the "Corbu Bench" in Madison, Connecticut. COURTEST JIM OSMAN

Osman’s assistant Alex Reyes, right, sits next to a passerby lying on the Corbu Bench in Madison, Connecticut.

COURTESY JIM OSMAN

The postmodern art joke has come true—last Sunday, a maintenance worker in Madison, Connecticut unwittingly trashed a public wood, tile, and Astroturf bench on view for the town’s 15th annual Sculpture Mile contemporary art show.

The piece was created by New York City-based sculptor Jim Osman, who serves as an assistant professor of fine arts at the New School and has shown work at Lesley Heller Workspace. According to the Star Tribune, the bench, based on the designs of Le Corbusier, took about a month to make, and had previously been displayed in New York.

Apparently, the worker was informed of complaints about Corbu Bench by his property management company. Believing the bench to have been left by skateboarders, they instructed the employee to dissemble the work and throw it away (in a nearby dumpster, as it turned out). The company has offered to pay compensation for the wrecked bench, estimated at $10,000, but founder and president of the company sponsoring the art show, William Bendig of the Hollycroft Foundation, has demanded that the worker retrieve the pieces and help restore the work.

Osman himself didn’t have much to say on the matter besides telling the Star Tribune, “It’s kind of a big letdown.”

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