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Landowners reach settlement with artist over sculpture clash

April 13, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Landowners and the sculptor of the Enchanted Highway in western North Dakota have resolved a dispute concerning liability and the lease linked to the statuary road’s flagship sculpture.

In 2017, Seth and Kayla O’Donnell bought a 28-acre (11-hectare) site for an easement to construct their home, which included the 5-acre site of “Geese in Flight.” The sculpture is located off Exit 72 on Interstate 94, at the northern end of the 32-mile Enchanted Highway, a scrap metal statuary that sculptor Gary Greff began in 1989 to revive his hometown of Regent.

The couple closed public access to the 110-foot-tall (34-meter-tall), 78-ton sculpture in July 2017, saying it is hazardous, in poor shape and draws trespassers, according to court documents.

The O’Donnell’s also noted that they were unaware of Greff’s previous lease agreement for the sculpture’s site.

Greff sued the pair in late 2017. The parties settled the dispute outside of court in March before the trial that was scheduled for mid-April, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Details of the March settlement can’t be discussed, Greff said. But he bought the site of “Geese in Flight,” which will be allowed to remain with conditions.

“As soon as I make the payment, then we can open the site and go in and it’s our site,” Greff told the newspaper. “Geese in Flight” could be open by May, he said.

Greff also added he will be visiting with other property-owners along the Enchanted Highway to see about agreements for buying those sites.

Dickinson attorney Sandra Kuntz, who has represented the O’Donnells, declined to remark on the settlement due to its privacy clause.

“There’s been a good settlement between the parties, and that’s about all anybody can comment with respect to it,” Kuntz said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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