Army scraps $600,000 project to put toad art at bus depot

By Published: April 21, 2011

Under pressure from a Congressman and local activists, the Army has canceled a plan to spend $600,000 to beautify a bus terminal at a new DOD facility in Virginia, according to U.S. News and World Report.

One of the leading contenders for the money was a project that included two murals and a sculpture of a fairy riding on the back of a giant toad.

But after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, opened an investigation into the pricey project, the Army announced this week that it was no longer considering buying any sculptures for the terminal, the magazine said. 

Grassley told the magazine, “The Army was ready to spend $600,000 on three pieces of questionable art, just when the country is up to its eyeballs in red ink. With a national debt of more than $14 trillion, we’ve got to make sure spending is in line with the national interest.”

Locals had complained that decorating a bus terminal that would be seen by only 2,500 people a day was wasteful, according to the magazine.

The terminal will be used by employees of the Mark Center, an annex to the Pentagon that will open later this year in Alexandria, Va.

This is the second controversy this week involving the Mark Center; yesterday, Reuters reported that the security plan for the building had mistakenly been posted on a public website by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Read more: "Army scraps $600,000 toad art project" in U.S. News and World Report

and "Anti-bomb plan for Pentagon annex posted online" from Reuters


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