Wooden sculpture causes costly mess at FBI's Miami field office

'Cedrus' sculpture cost tax payers about $1.2M, Politico reports

Photo of FBI Miami Building by Herich Blessing Photographers
Photo of FBI Miami Building by Herich Blessing Photographers

MIAMI – German artist Ursula von Rydingsvard has been working with red cedar flagrant wood for decades. Her monumental sculptures are for the most part placed outdoors.

At 17-feet tall, her "Cedrus" sculpture defied gravity in the shape of a tornado. It made it to the FBI's new modern Miami field building, where the high ceilings offered plenty of space. And now it's in the middle of a scandal. 

Politico reviewed hundreds of documents revealing details of the "Cedrus" case. The government reportedly paid the artist $750,000 for the sculpture, but Politico reported that after it got FBI employees sick it actually cost tax payers about $1.2 million. 

More than a dozen employees reportedly got sick, because they were all allergic to the sculpture's cedar dust. And now the artist's "Cedrus" -- which was removed from the building October 2015 -- has been the subject of stories on Gizmodo and The Huffington Post.  

Local 10 News Todd Tongen and Derek Shore contributed to this story. 

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