Travel Picks: Top 10 places with bad public art

Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:45pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Whether publicly funded or privately obtained public art can be as controversial as it is indefinable.

Members and editors of travel website ( have some very strong opinions which helped them come up with the top 10 pieces of bad public art. Reuters has not endorsed this list.

1. "Forever Marilyn" Seward Johnson; Chicago, Illinois

Detractors have found so many things to criticize about this work that it's hard to know where to start: its 26-foot (7.9 meter) scale, its impropriety given that the movie to which it pays tribute is set in New York, and its perceived crudeness given that viewers are able to look directly up the screen siren's dress. Luckily, she'll only be there until 2012.

2. "Cow Parade" - Certainly these painted fiberglass cows had a certain charm when they first started popping up unexpectedly in various cities, but now it seems the world has had its fill. A few too many incarnations of this idea changed admiration to contempt.

3. Mary Tyler Moore Statue; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Perhaps the real Mary Tyler Moore can turn the world on with her smile, but this statue certainly can't. Looking more like a woman spinning a basketball on her finger than one throwing her hat in the air, she might not even be identifiable were it not for the plaque at the base.

4. "Lifesaver" Niki de Saint Phalle; Duisburg, Germany

It seems the only nice word critics of this piece are willing to use is "bright." Unfortunately there are other words they also use to describe this hard-to-figure-out, multi-colored, frenetic piece.   Continued...

<p>A man jokingly looks under the dress of a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago, July 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>