Cops Mistakenly Blow Up Russell Jaffe's Artwork

Emma Flint

Local Iowa artist and poet, Russell Jaffe, has had his artwork blown up due to it being mistaken for a bomb by police.

The Iowa City Police decided to intervene after reports of a suspicious package came to their attention, which then led them to use a robot controlled water cannon to contain the situation during Sunday's Summer of the Arts festival.

Funnily enough though, the area wasn't evacuate, unlike the bomb scare at Walmart that had the whole store emptied.

Nonetheless, the fear of a potential bomb was enough for worried staff to call the Iowa City Police Department, who then decided it was best to contact the Johnson County Metro Bomb Team to take over the situation.

Once the bomb squad was called in they followed all their protocols to the letter, by thoroughly investigating the package as carefully as possible to determine its content.

At least this particular bomb team could be happy in the knowledge that they hadn't caused this bomb scenario, unlike the bomb squad in Sydney, Australia, who recently 'found fame' for all the wrong reasons.

Jaffe is widely recognised in the contemporary art world for his use of 'found objects' such as discarded electronics, which are then spray painted and made to look even more distressed to add to the message Jaffe is trying to convey, and therefore wouldn't seem at all suspicious to the trained artistic eye.

However, his latest piece, which was purchased at the art show and later housed in an abandoned newspaper vending machine, had private security staff worrying that something potentially dangerous was lurking within.

According to a press release from Iowa police, Jaffe was very understanding and helpful during their investigation, as was the resident who purchased the now destroyed art piece.

Apparently the artwork was left in the vending machine as part of a 'take something, leave something' idea, and was soon explained to be nothing more than an innocent, although misguided, way of sharing his new found art addition.

However, despite the fact that no malicious intent was behind the package, the resident who bought the item wished to remain anonymous when listed in news stories or reports of the incident.

Now that the event has come to light, and all the information has been disclosed to the public, Russell Jaffe has finally commented on how it felt to have his artwork end up as a smoldering mess:

"Having my art and poetry eviscerated by a bomb-destroying robot is the thing I realized I never knew I always wanted,"

Poor Russell Jaffe, lets hope his next art piece doesn't end up the same way.

[Image via Iowa City Patch]