Item found to be local artwork


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A “suspicious” item that initially alarmed private security personnel at the Iowa City Summer of the Arts’ Iowa Arts Festival has been revealed to be a local work of art, a Wednesday press release said.

The item, originally found early Sunday evening at the intersection of Dubuque and Washington Streets, was later destroyed by the Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad.

Russell Jaffe, a local artist and poet, sold the piece of electronic art to a local resident at a venue in January, the release said.

The identity of the resident who purchased the artwork has not been released, but the release said the resident placed the item in an abandoned newspaper vending machine. The stand was being used to pass items from person to person in a “take something, leave something” manner.

The resident had no malicious intent when he put the item into the newspaper box and cooperated with investigators, the release said.

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