An ear of corn. Male genitalia. A pile of rodent droppings. Maggots.
These are not images the artist intended to evoke when creating the much-criticized “Nails’ Tales” sculpture outside Camp Randall Stadium. Crew removed the obelisk of footballs Wednesday after more than a decade of it standing as a metaphorical punching bag for passersby.
The 50-foot concrete sculpture sparked fierce debate over its appearance and artistic value since its 2005 installation near the corner of Regent Street and Breese Terrace.
Many Madison residents have directed disdain toward “Nails’ Tales” over the past 14 years and the criticism revived during the removal process. But art experts say “Nails’ Tales” sparked conversation in the community, and for that it’s been a success.
Peter Schmiedicke has had a view of “Nails’ Tales” for the past four years from the cashier’s window at Mickies Dairy Bar.
“I’m glad to see it go,” he said.
Mike Moffatt, who is also celebrating the statue’s removal, suggested one of Madison’s lakes as a relocation site.
“About time,” Madison resident Scott Zingg said of Wednesday’s removal. He watched and briefly applauded as workers strapped the sculpture to a truck bed.
Others, such as Tim from Stadium Barber, located across the street from the sculpture, have used “Nails’ Tales” as a conversation starter with visitors from out of town or as a landmark.
“Meet in front of the ugly statue,” he said he often tells his friends.