Sculpture outside Indianapolis apartment building where student fell to death to be removed

Some concerned dancing depiction was insensitive

INDIANAPOLIS - A sculpture outside the apartment building where an 18-year-old Purdue student fell to his death last month will be moved after concerns it was insensitive.

The brightly colored statue of a man with his hands on the ground and his legs in the air is intended to be a person break dancing, but some have suggested it looks more like a person falling.

Xavier Somerville, 18, fell off a balcony at The Avenue Apartments in downtown Indianapolis after police showed up at a party he was attending there in September. He later died.

The sculpture was installed before Somerville's death, but a spokeswoman with The Avenue said the company would relocate the artwork.

"We at the Avenue, like others, continue to grieve over this tragic accident. The artwork was designed months before and installed prior to the tragedy," said spokeswoman Amy Wiser. "It was commissioned as a part of the development as an artistic expression that celebrates the richness of the cultural heritage of Indiana Avenue, including its positive impact on music. … In light of the concerns, we will be relocating the sculpture."

The topic of whether the sculpture should be moved lit up the RTV6 Facebook page.

Some argued the artwork was insensitive and should be put somewhere else.

"Art is supposed to be subjective, but they should move it if someone just died there," Taylor Rogers wrote.

"It's creepy when you consider what happened! It's like watching the child fall!!" Amy Livingston wrote. "His friends and family don't need to see this image as I'm sure the one in their mind is bad enough. Whatever the art represents doesn't matter when it's so similar to the mental image of the boy falling!"

"(It's) too close for comfort if someone were to put themselves in the family's shoes. Take it down to save heartache," Julie Hill Kelly wrote.

But others argued that the art was put in place before Somerville's death and that it should be left alone.

"How was the artist to have known some underage IDIOT would break the law and try running from police. Moving it will be an unnecessary expense. This is not an issue of bad taste," Tommy Trittipo wrote.

"They had it purchased before the kid fell. I am very sorry that they fell to their death. But this is getting ridiculous," Charles Coslett wrote. "Everyone has a right to display what they want. If you don't like it, don't look at it."

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