Some upset with artist’s controversial billboard

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's called "The Scout" created by artist Albert Bitterman. It was supposed to be installed on a billboard by Missouri Bank's artboards, but it was de-selected because, as the bank stated, "we felt like we were going to make a statement we didn't want to make."

Since it was installed on September 23, the controversial billboard has raised a few eyebrows. It shows a man on top of a scaffolding holding a gun aimed at the landmark statue. It says "Discover Kansas City." When Missouri Bank refused it, artist Bitterman leased the two billboards at 19th & Baltimore for one month.

Bitterman describes his artwork as not offensive whatsoever. On his website he says, "If anything the scout is a gesture in defense of the native American. The Indian is a hollow piece of metal, a nostalgic version of the Indian we want to remember rather than the Indian we destroyed. It's been an emblem of the city, but few could say where it is even located."

Moses Brings Plenty is a Lakota Indian with the Kansas City Indian Center and said he was disturbed when he saw the billboards.

"It was done in very poor taste," Plenty said.

The billboards will be up through October 21.

"If it's going to be up for the month, I'd like for the artist to find a little class within himself to remove it and put up something that's really depicting the message that he is trying to say," Plenty said. "Don't use us. I'm tired of indigenous people being the brunt of the joke."

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1 Comment

  • claire packard

    Bitterman seems an appropriate name. Also, you did not ‘destroy’ us Mr. Bitterman. You’re still trying but were alive and well, growing in number some places, and keeping on our eyes on you.