Giant straw squirrel raises controversy in Kazakhstan

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  July 11, 2018 at 9:30 AM
Leer en Español
share with facebook
share with twitter

July 11 (UPI) -- A 40-foot squirrel sculpture assembled from straw in a Kazakhstan city is prompting backlash from the public due to its $67,000 price tag.

The oversized squirrel, created by South African sculptor Marius Jansen van Vuuren and British artist Alex Rinsler, was partially paid for with about $43,576 worth of public funds as part of the Art Energy festival in Almaty, which features more than a dozen other artworks.

The sculpture drew criticism from some locals who suggested the public funds could have been put to better use helping cash-strapped locals with medical expenses and other costs, while some others branded the straw sculpture a fire hazard.

The squirrel also has its fans, with some residents saying it brings smiles to the faces of local children.

The artists behind the squirrel, who created a similar straw fox in Shanghai, said the straw sculpture is designed to change appearance as it faces weather and other forces during its nine months on display outdoors.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories