‘ArtStreet’ Artist Booted from Exhibit After Creating Swastika Bench

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SACRAMENTO -- ArtStreet opened Friday and has incorporated the works of both international and local artists. One of those artists was booted from the exhibit, his piece destroyed.

Artist Heston Hurley submitted a bench with the stars and stripes in the shape of a swastika to the installation.

Hurley wrote about the incident on Facebook, claiming that after his bench was placed in a safe place someone allegedly took the sculpture out and allowed it to be used as seating. While this was the intention of the piece, Hurley says that his art was then destroyed and strewn about the floor as people danced upon it during the exhibit's opening reception.

While he said he knew the art piece would be controversial, he wanted to educate people about the history of the swastika, which dates back 11,000 years.

"I am a proud member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, People of the Standing Rock, members of the Iroquois confederacy, and People of the Longhouse. If you are not familiar with history, there was a genocide in this country long before World War II," Hurley wrote. "If we don't learn from the lessons of the past, we are doomed to repeat them. This isn't a piece about Trump. This is a piece about the Earth and our responsibility to the generations to come."

Hurley says he has accepted that he was kicked out of the show, but would have preferred to be consulted prior to the bench's destruction.

ArtStreet organizers told FOX40 that when they were recruiting artists back in October Hurley originally submitted an entirely different piece and that the bench was submitted too late. They say that this situation boils down to the fact that the art was an unapproved project, and not necessarily because it was controversial.