Sitka, Alaska (KINY) A decision by the Sitka City Administrator to remove some artwork has led to controversy.
The art work from local artist Daniel Benyon entitled, An Editorial Show' was removed after some complaints from citizens. The art was placed in Sitka at the William Storts Gallery which happens to be located in city hall.
Libby Storts told the Assembly that she felt this violated the rights to free speech, "We are surrounded in our country by provocative and inflammatory statements. I haven't noticed that they were shut down. Why are we doing this in Sitka where we are proud to work through our differences in a more thoughtful manner. If we are to have a civil society we must have conversations. The treatment of Mr. Benyon was dismissive, rude, hurtful and unacceptable."
The purpose of the gallery is to support local artists.
Assembly member Kevin Knox said he was saddened and upset when he heard about the incident, "Staff in the utility office, building and finance departments were not the people to talk to. it was certainly unwarranted to come to them yelling, using profane language, hostile body language and making threats."
Administrator Keith Brady said he decided to remove the art work after some city hall employees were threatened.