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Gallery owner gets probation in spoon sculpture case

September 17, 2018

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut art gallery owner arrested for putting a drug spoon sculpture outside a pharmaceutical company’s headquarters to protest the opioid crisis has been accepted into a probation program.

A state judge in Stamford approved accelerated rehabilitation Monday for Fernando Alvarez. A misdemeanor charge of obstructing free passage will be erased from his record if he successfully completes a one-year probationary period.

Alvarez and artist Domenic Esposito dropped the 11-foot-long, 4-foot-high steel sculpture in front Purdue Pharma’s Stamford offices in June.

The company denies allegations in lawsuits by state and local governments that its marketing of the opioid painkiller OxyContin helped fuel opioid abuse and overdoses.

The sculpture is now in Alvarez’s gallery in Stamford as part of an exhibit that he says confronts the culprits of the opioid crisis.

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