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West Virginia artist charged with littering in potty prank
In a Wednesday, April 18, 2012 photo, David Heatwole, 42, a Martinsburg artist, poses for a photo with the toilet he placed on top of a pedestal in the city square in Martinsburg, W.V. Martinsburg police on Thursday, April 19, 2012 cited Heatwole, who placed the toilet on the pedestal in the city square on Wednesday as a publicity stunt to advocate for more public art in the community. Heatwole faces a maximum fine of $500 for violating the city ordinance titled “Littering and Deposit of Garbage, Rubbish, Junk, Etc,” according to city code. AP Photo/The Herald Mail, Matthew Umstead.

MARTINSBURG (AP).- A West Virginia artist is charged with littering after he placed a toilet on a pedestal in a city square in what he says was a plea for more public art.

The Herald-Mail ( reports 42-year-old David Heatwole of Martinsburg could be fined up to $500 if convicted May 2 in Municipal Court. He tied three purple, helium-filled balloons to the toilet's handle and attached a fake bill of sale for a "crappy work of art."

Heatwole tells the newspaper he wanted to show the city that art can make the city a better place to live.

The pedestal he used was built last year for a planned sculpture of Martinsburg's founder, Revolutionary War Maj. Gen. Adam Stephen. Heatwole has suggested installing a contemporary art sculpture on the pedestal instead of a historical monument.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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