SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A police investigation into who erected a naked statue of presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Francisco earlier this month could delay plans to put it on display at a San Francisco bar this weekend and return it to the artist who created it.
The controversial statue was installed on Aug. 18 at the corner of Castro and Market streets, just outside Jane Warner Plaza. Entitled “The Emperor Has No B—s,” it was one of five such statues placed in cities around the country including Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Cleveland.
While some cities quietly removed their statues, in San Francisco police took it into custody the next day and are investigating it as a case of felony vandalism because the glue used to secure it damaged the sidewalk.
Police said it cost the city $4,000 to remove the statue and that there could be additional fines.
Nick Bovis, owner of Union Square restaurant and bar Lefty O’Douls, has offered to pay the fines to get the statue from police with the backing of Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the city’s Castro District.
Restaurant spokesman Lee Houskeeper said Lefty O’Doul’s had hOfoped to hold an event on Friday where the statue would be unveiled and put on display at the restaurant for the weekend. The statue would then be returned to its creator, an artist and sculptor known as Ginger, who would be flown in for the occasion.
“We’re giving him back his statue because he never got anything from any of this, and he’s just a blue collar worker in Nevada,” Houskeeper said.
Those plans, however, may have to be put on hold while police investigate exactly who is responsible for putting the statue up in San Francisco.
While Ginger has acknowledged making the statues, an activist collective called Indecline has issued a statement taking responsibility for commissioning and distributing them.
The group, which is opposed to Trump’s presidential candidacy, said it chose Ginger, who is known for working in the horror genre, to create a realistic and grotesque image.
Police spokeswoman Officer Giselle Talkoff said the statue remains booked as evidence in a crime that remains under open and active investigation.
“At this point we’re not releasing it to anyone,” Talkoff said.
While some news reports indicated the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office might have a role in the decision to keep the statue in city custody, a spokesman for that office Tuesday said the matter was entirely in the hands of police.
The statue, which depicts Trump as overweight and having small genitals, has generated some protests not from Trump supporters, but from those arguing that it is a form of body shaming against transsexuals and the overweight.
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