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The Capital's Controversial Panda Public Art Project

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The Capital's Controversial Panda Public Art Project

Arts & Life

The Capital's Controversial Panda Public Art Project

The Capital's Controversial Panda Public Art Project

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1974219/1974220" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

"Stars and Stripes" panda by artist Christine Miller, standing at the U.S. Navy Memorial at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. Courtesy D.C. Commission on the Arts hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy D.C. Commission on the Arts

What animal is black and white and controversial, all over the nation's capital? Day to Day reporter Eric Niiler reports on an art project in Washington, D.C. to place panda statues throughout the city — and the debate it's stirring up about public art.

There are up to 150 brightly painted pandas placed all over the city and the surrounding metro area. The city government of Washington, D.C., spent at least $850,000 on the project — money the project's detractors say could be spent on crucial city services.

City officials hope to get much of their investment back when the pandas are auctioned off after the project ends in September.

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