HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Since the lease expired for the Butler Institute of American Art branch in Howland in December 2019, a court battle has been going on over removing a piece of art there.
The “Soulages” is a ceramic mural in the building. It’s a substantial piece of artwork in which an addition was built to accommodate it, according to court filings. You can see it from outside the building.
The owner of the building on East Market Street, Foundation Medici, says that removing the artwork would damage the space and that the lease states that permanent fixtures can’t be removed.
The Butler let Medici know it planned to remove the artwork in November 2019 and Medici filed a lawsuit a couple of weeks later.
Removal of the artwork was stayed as the case made its way through the courts and to the 11th District Court of Appeals where a ruling this week said that the Butler can remove the artwork.
“This has been a long time coming. We are so excited and are preparing a special place for the artwork,” said Butler curator Lou Zona.
Zona said that plans are underway to remove the artwork and that they hope to have it on display in Youngstown before Christmas.