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Cops mistake art for bomb, blow it up at festival

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM   |   Comments

June 14 (UPI) -- Russell Jaffe is an artist and poet who makes "found sculptures" from discarded video game systems and "smashed-up" electronics.

One of his pieces -- a broken and spray-painted television with a "blood-stained antenna" -- was purchased at an art show, then left in an empty newspaper vending machine that locals say is a "leave something take something" art box.

According to The Iowa City Police Department, private security personnel working at the festival noticed the object and notified authorities who in turn contacted the Johnson County Metro Bomb Team.

Police said the bomb team "followed protocol" in examining the "unknown electronic suspicious package." They then detonated the package with a controlled robot water cannon.

"Having my art and poetry eviscerated by a bomb-destroying robot is the thing I realized I never knew I always wanted," Jaffe said in an announcement on his Facebook page.

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