- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The party's over for 69 of the 200 or so Party Animals on the District's downtown streets.
The colorful elephants and donkeys have been pulled off sidewalks and squares by officials concerned that the artworks could be damaged by protesters in town for World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings.
The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities decided 10 days ago to remove the statues at the request of the Metropolitan Police Department. A moving company worked through Friday night and into Saturday morning to do the job.
"They said they were concerned. These are works of art," said Dorothy McSweeney, chairman of the commission. "If they were in the way of a large number of people, they could be damaged."
All the Party Animals in the Foggy Bottom, Farragut West, Farragut North, McPherson Square, Metro Center and Federal Triangle neighborhoods were removed.
Mrs. McSweeney said there was no mention that the animals, 150-pound donkeys or elephants mounted on 700-pound concrete bases, could be used as projectiles or weapons by demonstrators.
The Party Animals were supposed to remain on D.C. streets through the end of the month, and Mrs. McSweeney said it was "an unexpected and early end" for the 69 that were taken off.
But the pain of the loss was lessened somewhat by American University, which agreed to display the exiled statues in its main quadrangle. "I am just so glad that we're continuing to have them out and open to the public," Mrs. McSweeney said.
She said she did not know whether an equitable number of Democratic donkeys and Republican elephants had been removed. "I suggest somebody go up and check to be sure," she said.
The Party Animals went on display in April and were heralded as the largest local art exhibit in D.C. history. Each sculpture was painted and designed by a local artist.
The artworks have been at the center of some dispute. A federal judge forced the commission to display a chained and weeping elephant, designed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to protest treatment of animals in circuses. About 15 of the animals have been vandalized, a few beyond repair.
In the first week of October, all the sculptures will be moved to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and displayed through the end of the month.
They will then be auctioned off, some for as much as $10,000, according to the commission. All proceeds will go to its grants and art education program.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide