Artist strips front of Detroit home, leaves squalor behind

An artist who took the front off of a Detroit home for an art project has left neighbors with an eyesore.

- An artist who bought an abandoned Detroit house for an elaborate art project promised to tear it down. Six months ago. Today, after taking the façade to Europe, what's left of the home on the west side is still here.

This is much more than an eyesore. The hollowed-out shell of Detroit glory still sits on Stoepel Street. Six months ago, an American artist stripped it so he could display it at an art fair in Europe. This eyesore is causing even more problems, according to Brenda Moore.

"I'm concerned that somebody would come from all the way overseas and help contribute to the decay that's already here,"  Contribute to the decay," Moore said.

The block is made up of groomed homes and old school Detroiters. And now this: a gutted home.

"The city had nothing to do with that art project whatsoever. I thought it was distasteful and it's incredibly disrespectful that you'd leave a mess like this for the neighbors to live with."

While it may have been intended to be an artistic statement overseas, neighbors and the city aren't seeing it that way.

"The fact that this artist can come in here and leave something like this is completely unacceptable. The neighbors won't stand for it and the administration won't stand for it," Detroit Building Authority Brian Farkas said.

The city says the home is dangerous and they're not waiting to tear it down. They'll start the bidding process to demolish the home on Monday.

"Not only is it an eyesore it can be a trap. A kid could run in there, fall in there, and nobody find him," neighbor Morris Riley said.

The city will take three people to court: the owner, the contractor, and the artist. For neighbors, knowing that this eyesore is finally getting what it deserved is putting a smile on their face.

"This type of behavior, where you can come in and do what you want and then leave and let the residents deal with it, that day is over." Farkas said.


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