World's Worst Public Art: Human Obama Sculpture, Neon Teddy Bear ...

A look at aesthetically questionable outdoor sculptures, across the country and around the globe

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U.S. News and World Report

The Army canceled a Northern Virginia public art project this week after media outlets and members of Congress complained about its $600,000 price tag.

"The Army was ready to spend $600,000 on three pieces of questionable art, just when the country is up to its eyeballs in red ink," Sen. Chuck Grassley, who'd opened an investigation into the project, told US News and World Report. "With a national debt of more than $14 trillion, we've got to make sure spending is in line with the national interest."

More objectionable than the cost of the planned installation, however, are its aesthetics. Had the project progressed as originally planned, a sculpture of a fairy riding a toad would have been placed at a bus depot in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Army isn't alone in its questionable taste in outdoor sculpture. Similarly bizarre public art projects have been approved across the country and around the world. Here are some of the most egregious examples:

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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