The trash heap escaped the trash trucks yesterday.
The wire mesh funnel-shaped sculpture now filling with discarded electrical appliances at the eastern end of the Whitehurst Freeway will stand undisturbed until Dec. 1 under an agreement reached before a D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday.
A Washington developer who had labeled the artwork "unsightly" and had threatened to cart it away today agreed after receiving assurances that the sculpture would be removed on schedule Dec. 1, to "refrain and desist from defacing, destroying or removing" the artwork.
Developer William T. Brawner touched off the sculpture snit about 10 days ago after some residents of his high-rise condominiums that overlook the artwork complained about the 40-foot high sculpture, which balloons out from its 3 1/2 foot base to a 30-foot-wide bowl.
About 60 of those Foggy Bottom "art critics" signed a petition saying, "It is our opinion that this so-called work of art is nothing but an ugly, unsafe, illegal pile of garbage." They told Brawner they had been informed that the sculpture would not be removed at the scheduled time because of lack of funds. It is one of 39 pieces around the city commissioned by the private non-profit Washington Project for the Arts since l979.
Brawner wrote city officials and the arts program last week that he had promised area residents he would hire five trash trucks and remove "this unsightly sculpture of metal junk" on July 31.
The Washington Project for the Arts, fearing for the life of the collection of toasters, turntables, mixers, hair dryers, electric frying pans, fans, coffee pots and vacuum cleaners, went to court for a temporary restraining order to force Brawner to keep his hands off.
Brawner said yesterday he had called off the trash trucks after receiving a letter earlier this week from D.C. City Council member John Wilson assuring him the original removal deadline would be met.
But the arts group's attorney, Aaron Levine, told D.C. Superior Court Judge Shellie Bowers yesterday: "We don't think our project is safe. If there is a court order it carries so much more" weight.
Artist Nancy Rubin, who was in court yesterday, said her controversial sculpture "is something that contains a part of every one of us . . . . They the appliances reflect us."
The two sides eventually signed a written agreement.