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Playboy bunny art being moved to Dallas museum

November 15, 2013

DALLAS (AP) — A 40-foot high Playboy bunny logo that had upset some West Texas residents will be removed from its roadside display and hauled to a Dallas museum.

The neon bunny — part of the “Playboy Marfa” sculpture by New York contemporary artist Richard Phillips — will be dismantled this month and taken from highway U.S. 90 to the Dallas Contemporary museum, about 500 miles northeast.

The bunny will be displayed in April as part of an exhibition highlighting Phillips’ work, said museum spokeswoman Erin Cluley.

The museum does not keep its art as part of any collection, so the neon bunny will be moved again — it’s just not clear where, Cluley said.

Peter Doroshenko, executive director of the museum, said Dallas Contemporary has been working with Phillips for a year on his first museum exhibition in the U.S. He said the Playboy piece will be one of several three-dimensional art works along with paintings and drawings.

The “Playboy Marfa” sculpture debuted last June in Marfa, about 180 miles southeast of El Paso. Some Marfa residents were upset that their town — known as a hub for artists and creative types — was being used for marketing purposes. Also, Texas transportation officials said the sculpture lacked a state permit required for outdoor billboards and gave Playboy 45 days to remove it.

“We are happy this has been resolved and that Texans will still get to enjoy this piece of art,” said Veronica Beyer, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Still unresolved, though, is the fate of a sealed model Prada showroom that has stood for years beside U.S. 90 in the West Texas desert town of Valentine, about 35 miles northwest of Marfa.

“All I can tell you about Prada is we are working on a solution,” Beyer said.

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