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'No Bomb' symbol stirs controversy

Jan. 27, 2005 at 3:03 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Port of Oakland wanted Keba Konte to paint a shipping container, but the artist's "No-bomb" symbol is posing problem for California authorities.

The painting was to be displayed at Jack London Square, but the port commissioner believes the "no bomb" symbol might scare visitors and passersby, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Konte's painting includes an image of a bomb with a fuse, surrounded by a circle with a diagonal line through it, says the report.

"I'd prefer to see something less controversial,'' said Port Commissioner Darlene Ayers-Johnson, who sits on the Public Art Committee. "I understand the artist would really like to be stimulating. That's great. But we really don't want to exhibit anything that would disturb people."

Ayers-Johnson says many people would see the 8-foot-tall image of a bomb on the side of a shipping container just in passing, without reading any background material. "In that context, it could really stimulate some people in a negative way," she said.

The art committee decided to allow Konte submit a second proposal if his bomb idea is rejected.

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