Cat sculpture to be adopted by downtown New London attorney

New London — A downtown lawyer said he would be providing a home to the cat sculpture that was installed mistakenly over the weekend on the side of the Huntington Street courthouse. 

Attorney Sebastian O. DeSantis said Tuesday that the piece would be moved from state property Wednesday morning to a landscaped wedge of property in front of his office at 345 State St. DeSantis said Jeanne Siegel, marketing & development director of the neighboring Garde Arts Center, called to tell him a place to put the art piece was needed fast.

"They asked if they could put it in my spot, and I said yes," he said by phone. "I like it, and I like the idea of art in downtown New London."

Bill Bendig of Essex, who is working with city officials to create the New London Sculpture Mile, an exhibit of more than 20 sculptures that will run from the downtown area to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, said he thought he had permission to install the disk-shaped sculpture, which is called "Catrophy" by William Evans, in a mulch bed on the side of the state-owned courthouse.  He installed it over the weekend.

Court staff who arrived at work Monday morning were suprised to see the sculpture and said they didn't know who had planted it there. By the early afternoon, Bendig had been identified as the perpetrator of the art piece and told he would not be able to leave the piece on state property.

Court maintenance staff stood ready to help Bendig, who is 90 years old, "un-install" the feline-themed artwork.

k.florin@theday.com

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