Burlington Considers Moving Ice Art Due to Lack of Diversity

BURLINGTON – If you were in Burlington recently you may have seen the latest piece of protest art created by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. The tiny melting ice figures were meant to make a statement about the perils of climate change, but are they also offensive? Azevedo, who travels the country creating these beautiful displays of miniature, human-like statues that adorned the steps of Burlington’s city hall last week, received an anonymous letter asking for their prompt removal. The letter cited “lack of diversity in types of ice used,” namely the lack of black ice.

Black ice is quite common in Vermont, although some stereotype the ice as dangerous, and, while not as common, dry ice is also present in the state and was not used in the sculpture.

A group of Burlingtonians also took offense to the miniature white sculptures, releasing a statement to the press reading, “The ice figures do not reflect our current values, or reflect the heritage of Burlington and its people. We will question the integrity of all artwork on display, and continue to aggressively provide our recommendations to the community as to what should and should not be on display, and what qualifies as art.”

The city has promised to make a decision about the art sometime in the next two years, but Azevedo has already taken the art to Middlebury College, where it will be on display today.

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1 Comment

  1. How about adding: an unfortunate accident occurred when the mayor and city councilors, were leaving their meeting. They slipped on the melting ice, with broken bones and traumatic brain injuries resulting. This has left the community divided over whether these elected officials should continue in their jobs given the uncertainty about their ability to govern given their obvious impairments.

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