Animal statues return to Pack Square

Two pigs and two turkeys returned to their spot along Asheville’s Urban Trail in the center of Pack Square on Tuesday after a more than two-year absence.

Artist Robert Gursky and co-worker John Ransmeier installed a mother pig and piglet, as well as a mother turkey and a poult, at Urban Trail stop No. 2. The stop has traditionally one of the most popular and well-known along the Urban Trail, a citywide self-guided tour started in 1991.

“We’re really hoping the community is excited about seeing them come back,”  Diane Ruggiero, Asheville’s superintendent of cultural arts, said Thursday in the blustery cold as she watched Gursky and Ransmeier prepare to install the sculptures.

The Urban Trail, a tour through downtown Asheville punctuated by dozens of bronze sculptures and an accompanying plaque detailing local history, has been a work in progress for years. Thieves stole the piglet in the summer of 2007 and tried, but failed, to haul off the mama pig, which has been in storage since. Other stops along the trail have also been hit by vandals. And the trail’s station No. 1 remains unfinished. Extra concrete will be poured around the base of the animals’ feet to help them in place.

Ruggerio says the sculpture of a girl drinking from a fountain is scheduled to be returned to her spot in the new Pack Square next week. The sculpture was removed because of work on the park. It will no longer function as an actual fountain and the lamp post it is attached to will feature an electric light fixture, rather than the original gas lantern.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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8 thoughts on “Animal statues return to Pack Square

  1. hauntedheadnc

    I drove through the square this morning and noticed that while the mother pig is there, the piglet isn’t… I sincerely hope some douche didn’t decide to be funny and steal it again. It’s not as though those statues come cheap.

  2. Asheville Dweller

    That would be funny those stupid things stolen the day they were brought back. Why is this garbage news?? Its not like those statues actually worth what ever they cost. But to have it back to the Bums can have a latrine I guess thats all that matters.

  3. ashevillain7

    No it would not be funny. Theft is never funny. It’s news because some people care.

  4. Jason Sandford

    Here’s a note I received from Donna Clark, the spokeswoman for Pack Square Park:

    Hey, Jason,

    The little pig is alive and well in City Hall. On the day the critters were installed, the little pig was the last thing put in, and by that time it was too cold for the adhesive to set properly. At the end of the day, he was still not secure, so they pulled him out and took him back to City Hall. He will rejoin his mother as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

    A friend pointed out some questions about this on your web site.

    Have a great weekend.


  5. Asheville Dweller

    No your right it wouldnt be funny, it would be hysterical, all that money wasted on something lackluster, gone. It would be great.

    Its still not news other then the Headline “People in Asheville sure know how to waste money”. But hey its a sculpture that the bums urinate on so we got to pay full price for it.

    Funny those that stick up for animal rights wanna celebrate a bloody Asheville past where there was a Slaughter house located Almost in downtown Asheville. And these folks call themselves Enviromentalists . . . Ha ha such Irony . . .

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