Frank The Baggage Handler
It’s been more than eight years since Frank The Baggage Handler was installed in the Penticton Marina way roundabout. The confusion and controversy that surrounded the work still flairs up from time to time. The original plaster sculpture was sold a few years ago and now resides in a West Vancouver home. The first bronze out of three was installed at the Red Rooster Winery in Penticton when all the dust finally settled in Penticton.
The original controversy went world wide when the mayor of the City of Penticton insisted on censoring the work by covering the genitalia of the nude work. The work was installed with an ugly metal plate covering pubic area which caused even more controversy than the original censoring. The City council then over- ruled the mayor and the metal plate was removed. Unfortunately the damage was done by then and the work became a target for vandals. After being in the roundabout only 552 short days since his installation the artist Michael Hermesh was forced to remove the work to prevent further damage. The repair cost and damages the City of Penticton eventually had to pay amounted to more than 15,000.00. It also cost the artist almost 3 years of legal wrangling and stress.
Over that time period this famous sculpture received a great deal of international media response including front page news on several national Canadian Newspapers.
I have imbedded some video files from the original controversy and the headline making news. These are original news videos from that time.
For more information and pictures about Frank the Baggage Handler you can visit his official site “The Baggage Handler”
Frank the Baggage Handler Original Installation