A unique 9-foot gargoyle statue in northern Arizona is drawing fire, not for its size, but for the gargoyle’s large genitalia.
Yavapai County officials for days have been pressing Louis Smith to remove statue from his five-acre property following neighbor complaints. Lynn Chaplin, county land use specialist, tells the Prescott Daily Courier that the statue in altering “the character of the neighborhood.”
If Smith didn’t remove the statue or “screen it in,” Chaplin said, he’d be fined $100 plus a $1,000 sanction, although he could also apply for a use permit for the statue.
But Smith said the county is violating his constitutional right to freedom of expression. His said the statue, created by his son, is a “statement of individuality” and it’s not going anywhere.
“When I look at the neighborhood out there, I find people who do not want to live with an HOA (Home Owners’ Association),” Smith said. “There are people who want to do artwork…and they don’t want the county to be looking down their neck.”
Smith’s son, David, is working on a second statue with a similar body part as the gargoyle. He says once it’s complete he will place it up, too. “I built it a certain way and I like it like that,” welder David Smith told KTVK-TV, referring to his first statue.
A hearing on the statue is scheduled in July.
“I’m a David trying to fight a Goliath,” Louis Smith said. “And I don’t have a slingshot.”