A sculpture of Spider-Man's hands shooting a web became the center of controversy in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The statue was placed near the Lincoln Children's Zoo as part of the Lincoln's Serving Hands sculpture project. A local woman reportedly assumed the statue was depicting the devil, and wrote a letter to Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird, demanding the city to take action.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the woman wrote, "It is a sculpture of two hands open, painted Red & Black, and formed into Devil Horns." In her impassioned letter to the Mayor, she called it a "hate crime against the church." City ombudsman Lin Quenzer replied to her, saying: "The sculpture is most definitely not a devil-related sculpture...It clearly has a very playful child-like intent." In doing so, he explained how Spider-Man wore red and blue (and sometimes red and black), assuring her that the statue was inoffensive.
The Serving Hands public art project, for which the statue belongs to, aims to use its proceeds to benefit Campus Life. A small portion of the profits will go to the individual artists and for the Spider-Man statue, that artist is Ian Anthony Laing. When the project was announced, Laing was inspired to make his statue an ode to the web-slinger.
"Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero. Why not pay home to him? Spider-Man can!" he exclaimed. Laing's statue is one of 50 6-foot-tall fiberglass hand sculptures that will be on display in Lincoln through October.