A group that wanted to bring a 45-foot statue of a naked woman to the National Mall was denied a permit because it would detract from historic monuments and could damage the turf, National Park Service (NPS) officials said.
"The proposed nearly 48-foot height of the statue introduces a visual element that would diminish the property’s significant historic features by altering the setting and historic character of the National Mall landscape," NPS spokesman Mike Litterst said in an email.
The permit was denied Wednesday, Litterst said.
Catharsis organizers claimed in a statement that NPS issued them a permit and then revoked it.
NPS did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether that claim was accurate.
Catharsis spokeswoman Natalie White accused NPS of denying the permit to silence women.
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"They don't want us to take action, they don't want us to say enough is enough, they don't want this symbol to remind women to stand up to the injustice this administration has forced upon them," she said in a statement.
The park service also denied a permit for a memorial temple to stand on the National Mall for 119 days, Litterst said.
The statue and temple "would likely cause significant damage to and require replacement of the underlying turf and soil," Litterst said.
Catharsis on the Mall was granted a permit for an event Nov. 10-12 and will be allowed to assemble 30 other temporary structures, Litterst said.
The arts festival was granted permission to light a fire on the Mall, Litterst said. This year will be the third year Catharsis on the Mall holds the ceremonial burning, Litterst said.
A crowdfunding campaign was launched in October to bring the statue, and reached 73 percent of its $90,000 goal before NPS announced the permit was denied.
The R-Evolution statute is intended to represent women free from domestic violence, artist and creator Marco Cochrane said.