Chicago, IL – Protesters Cleared from Art Institute Garden After Surrounding Iconic Sculpture

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Chicago, IL – On Saturday, a group of protesters barricaded themselves inside the Art Institute of Chicago’s sculpture garden, specifically surrounding the iconic Cubi VII sculpture by American artist David Smith. 

According to Chicago police, the demonstrators ‘fortified’ their position by locking the gates of the garden, located on the 100 block of South Michigan Avenue, turning into a standoff lasted several hours, during which the Art Institute proposed an alternative location for the demonstration. 

This offer was rejected by the protesters, leading to prolonged negotiations. By the afternoon, with the museum requesting enforcement action, police issued multiple warnings to the demonstrators to disperse. Despite these warnings, many remained defiant until arrests were made for criminal trespassing.

The incident drew to a close late Saturday afternoon with the garden being cleared of all demonstrators. The Cubi VII sculpture, a notable work representing the evolution of American sculpture in the 1960s, stood unharmed but became the focal point of a significant protest action challenging institutional spaces and public engagement with art.

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