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Indy airport grounds Bieber-inspired artwork

A Justin Bieber-inspired artwork won’t fly at Indianapolis International Airport.

Indy airport grounds Bieber-inspired artwork
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Indy airport grounds Bieber-inspired artwork
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

Airport officials cancelled the art display that used multicolor letters spelling out the world “Belieber” – the Twitter hashtag used by the troubled Canadian hiphop star.

The sculpture was headed for display in a glass case in the airport’s Concourse B. Airport officials had commissioned Columbus, Indiana, native Tre Reising to create the piece.

However, when officials saw that the artwork focused on one particular celebrity – the bad-news making Bieber – they decided to ground it citing the airport’s family environment.

The 19-year-old Bieber has been making headlines lately for bad behavior. On a recent chartered flight from Ontario to New Jersey for the Super Bowl, Bieber was reported to be verbally abusive to a flight attendant. Bieber reportedly refused to stop smoking marijuana.

Bieber is accused of egging his neighbor’s home in California in January. He also is slated to appear in a Toronto court on March 10 to face an assault charge for reportedly hitting a limo driver several times in the head on Dec. 30.

A “We The People” petition to deport Bieber back to Canada from the U.S. was recently started. The petition requires 100,000 signatures to get a government response. As of Feb. 11, the petition had reached more than 255,000.

The petition on WhiteHouse.gov was started by an unknown individual from Detroit on Jan. 23 – the same day that Bieber, was arrested for racing his exotic sports car while under the influence and resisting arrest in Miami, Florida.

Now a resident of Brooklyn, Reising will be paid $500 for the unaccepted artwork. This is the first time that Reising has worked with the Indianapolis airport.

An airport spokesman told Indianapolis television station WISH-TV that officials expected a display about hiphop and art. Instead, Reising used Styrofoam, paint and glitter to create a Bieber sculpture that could become a photo spot for travelers.

Opened Nov. 12, 2008, the $1.1 billion Indianapolis International Airport is offers artwork throughout the facility. The airport itself is a beauty. Architecturally, it has an aerodynamic profile pointed skyways as if the airport itself were about to take off. The passenger terminal features soaring architecture with 80-foot-high glass walls in the main hall and abundant natural light.

Dining and shopping places include the usual national chains, plus some favorite Hoosier businesses like King David Dogs, Shapiro’s Deli, Harry & Izzy’s, South Bend Chocolates, Vera Bradley and more.

The airport is located on a drive that never existed until the airport was built – 7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Drive. For travelers who aren’t familiar with Weir, a small collection of glass-cased memorabilia in the baggage claim area showcases the feats of the Indianapolis World War I and World War II hero and aviation pioneer.