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Cops Thought This Artwork Was a Weed Farm, So They Destroyed It

Thanks, cops.

by Nathaniel Ainley
12 July 2017, 12:00am

French police from the city of Lyon ripped up an agricultural art installation comprised of hemp plants that they accidentally mistook for a rogue weed farm. The artwork, Waiting Room, was conceived by artist Thierry Boutonnier and architectural firm Fabriques Architectures Paysages as part of the 2017 Architecture Biennial in Lyon. The premise of the piece, according to The Independent, was to transform a neglected, 4,000 square meter plot of land in Lyon's Confluence district into an urban agro-ecosystem that could host the biennial's closing party on Saturday.

Over the course of the festival, a team of artists and architects mowed and harvested the land, laying down a combination of barley, hemp, and flax seeds. A description of the project put out by the Biennial states, "The purpose of Waiting Area is to inscribe a rural, plant and animal cycle in an urban temporality, creating a new type of urban agricultural sociability." As Le Progrès, a French newspaper, reported, during a routine patrol, municipal police officers came across what they believed to be a plot of illegal cannabis plants and proceeded to rip the crops from the ground root and stem. Another win for the French police.

Check out more projects at the Lyon Architecture Biennial on their website, and learn more about the Waiting Room story here.

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