Sculpture bares all, infuriates some in Old Westbury

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (WABC) -- It's draped in a black shroud now, covering the sculpture as if its owner was ashamed.

But it's not the owner. It's the neighbors.

A bronze sculpture, by artist Damien Hirst, is 33-feet high and shows a pregnant woman and her fetus. It belongs to Aby Rosen, a real estate investor, who keeps it at his Old Westbury estate.

But some neighbors complained so bitterly about the sculpture that the village's mayor forced Rosen to cover it until he could hold a public hearing on the matter.

The mayor would not comment on the sculpture or those who complained about it. It's unclear, because of trees and the size of the estates nearby, how many can see the sculpture, but some people didn't seem to think covering it was necessary.

"I think to each his own," said Jolie Rothschild, an Old Westbury resident.

Lorice Zuber cited freedom of expression, saying that the sculpture was "not offensive at all."

The village has scheduled a public hearing on the fate of the sculpture for May 19.

More than one resident said on Wednesday that there may be more important issues to focus on. "I think we have to stop worrying about this. It's a free country," said one local man.
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