One Artist Suggests Melting Down the Paterno Statue. Is it Legal?

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On Sunday July 22, 2012 Penn State University removed the famed bronze statue of Joe Paterno, which was located outside its football stadium, one day before the NCAA announced a slate of severe sanctions against the university arising from its role in the Sandusky child molestation scandal. A few days later, news reports emerged that sculptor Larry Nowlan suggested the statue be melted down and recycled into a “healing memorial” for victims of child abuse. While this proposal may have both spiritual and artistic merit, there is one problem: Nowlan is not the sculptor who created the Paterno statue.

This article considers whether Penn State would be prohibited under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) from implementing Nowlan's proposal.

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