Sculptor Tom Otterness, best known for his whimsical statues in subways and city parks, is having a hard time getting past his other reason for notoriety. The sculptor has been commissioned for $750,000 by a mysterious donor to build lion and cub statues for the Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library. This is how horror movies start, right? Community Board 1 voted 23-7 to approve the commission, despite outrage over a film Otterness made in the 1970s in which he shot a dog. However, at least one New Yorker hasn't forgiven him. "I think if he shot a dog, he should be shot," said one pet owner.
Otterness has repeatedly apologized for the film. He recently said, "In 1977, I was a young artist having a very rough time. I had anger at myself and at the world. What I did was symbolic of how I was feeling internally and it is something I would never do today. I have struggled with my action for 30 years and continue to do so to this day. I am very sorry." However, the Post's headline, "Buy His Sculpture or He'll Shoot a Dog," isn't helping anything. The library is currently reviewing whether or not they can accept the anonymous donation.