Did they realize they cut down part of the art?

The German artist Joseph Beuys had an art project titled “7,000 Oaks,” which began in 1982 at Documenta 7, the large international art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. His plan called for the planting of 7,000 trees, each paired with a stone column approximately four feet high above ground, set throughout the city of Kassel. The Dia Art Foundation provided some of the funding for the original project, and later continued the project in New York (pictured below), as Beuys intended the Kassel project to be the first stage in an ongoing scheme of tree planting to be extended throughout the world. The artist wanted to bring attention to environmental and social change, and in the case of planting trees in the city, a bit of urban renewal.

With that background information in hand, it would seem that someone in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation didn’t realize they were removing part of an art work when they cut down this tree on 10th Avenue, next to one of Beuys’ stone columns, pictured below left. But someone felt the urge to make sure people knew what they were looking at when he or she wrote “art” on the sidewalk, with an arrow pointing to the stone column. Maybe the Department of Parks and Recreation thought the stone columns were the only aspect of the art work … it seems a bit hard to believe they would knowingly cut down the tree without replacing it if they knew it was part of the art, don’t you think?

7000 oaks piece had tree cut down from Joseph Beuys art installation

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