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Is Overland Park Statue Art or Obscene?

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --  Is it art or is it obscene?  That's what one group is hoping a grand jury will decide about a sculpture in the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

According to Overland Park officials, the plan is to move the sculpture titled, "Accept or Reject" to what will be an International Sculpture Garden at some point.  But right now there's no timeline for that, so the American Family Association is moving forward in its effort to try to get a grand jury to force the issue.

Stilwell, Kansas mom, Jo Anne Hughes started a petition of her own after seeing the sculpture with her two young children. She says when she didn't have any luck getting the sculpture moved, the AFA took over. That organization will begin collecting signatures next week.

Still, what she thinks is inappropriate for children in a family friendly venue is what others call art.

"It's just a beautiful work of art," said Don McGuire, who lives in Overland Park.  "Nothing to be controversial about. Art is art. The human form is the main thing that's been used in art through the centuries."

Hughes disagrees.

"Anything and everything under the sun can be considered art," Hughes said.  "Pornography is considered art by some people, but that doesn't mean I hand a Playboy to a young child and say 'Hey it's just art, deal with it.'"

Hughes has already collected more than 2,500 signatures on an online petition to move the sculpture. The AFA plans to begin collecting signatures next week to try to get a jury called. Johnson County Prosecutor, Steve Howe says Kansas law defines what is obscene and a grand jury would have to apply the definitions of the law to the facts of the case to determine an answer.

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