Monday, December 28, 2009

PETA's fiberglass sculpture, “Ella PhantzPeril,” returns to Dupont Circle

Since her original design by Harry Bliss for participation in the May through October 2002 "Party Animals" public art exhibition in Washington DC the saga of PETA’s sad circus elephant, Ella PhantzPeril—a shackled baby elephant with tears trickling down her face, carrying the inscription, “The Circus Is Coming; See Shackles, Bullhooks, Loneliness … All Under the Big Top”—has had a more than difficult life.

Though the fourth design had been accepted in June 2002 the DC Commission on the Arts filed a lawsuit citing concerns regarding physical aspects of the “sad” elephant design.

On 7 August 2002, Judge Richard J. Leon, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, granted the injunction and ordered the Commission to include PETA’s entry in the Party Animals exhibit.

On 26 August 2002, the commission filed a motion with the judge asking for reconsideration of his earlier ruling.

Two days later, on 28 August, the court reiterated its ruling in PETA’s favor and denied the Arts Commission’s request to reconsider his previous ruling.

Though, in November 2003, the Court of Appeals would reverse the District Court's order that permitted PETA to have its "sad" circus elephant displayed in the D.C. Party Animals event ... Ella PhantzPeril was on display at the Connecticut Avenue and Q Street overpass in NW Washington DC through October 2002 which was when the Party Animals exhibit concluded.

However, along with Ella PhantzPeril also goes much controversy.

Since her 2002 departure from the nation's capital, Ella has travelled to Bridgeport CT, Tarrytown TX, Union Square Park in NYC (August 2007) and Washington Square Park in Kansas City MO (September 2009).

And while the City of St. Louis MO may have denied PETA's request for her appearance at the October 2009 Ringling Brothers Circus at the Scott Trade Center ... “Ella PhantzPeril,” has returned not only to the nation's capital but, also, to Dupont Circle.

As was observed during my visit to Dupont Circle yesterday afternoon. Which was Sunday, 27 December 2009.

And, when exiting from the Dupont Circle Station's south exit that I'd capture Ella perched at the 1350 Connecticut Avenue Complex between Connecticut Avenue and 19th Street in NW Washington DC.

When I know more details regarding Ella's 'Winter Solstice/Holiday Season 2009' appearance in Washington DC I'll post that information to this blog posting.

Click the image to view my "Ella PhantzPeril" Party Animal Sculpture photo album.

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