Rooftop martini rankles Mankato city officials

3:11 PM, Oct 12, 2012   |    comments
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MANKATO, Minn. - What's 12 feet tall, 7 feet wide and the center of controversy in Old Town Mankato? Well, it's either art or a sign, depending on who you ask.

"We are considering it art. An illuminated art sculpture," owner of the object in question, Mike Baumann, of Old Town Wine Café said Thursday night.

The object is an illuminated steel martini glass sculpture perched atop the café in Mankato. You can see it from blocks away as it's perched on the rooftop of the historic building.

The problem is its illegal, according to the city of Mankato.

"Got a letter yesterday take the sign down," Baumann said.

The law says signs cannot be on rooftops, but that's part of the stink here, Baumann and the fellow who made the sculpture say it is art, not a sign.

"Usually signs say information, point someplace or say something. It doesn't do any of that," sculptor Don Kopp argued.

The city argues even though the martini doesn't "say" anything it intends to be a sign as it is depicting a drink atop the roof of a bar.

But, there is an exception to the rules for rooftops to have seasonal items, like holiday trees, etc.

Kopp likes that exception.

"I don't know when the season is for a cocktail, anytime right," he grinned saying.

Hey, it's an argument ok.

It's time to think big-because the city just made last call on the first real live rooftop sculpture in Old Town Mankato.

Baumann has nine days to work something out with the city, or, take down the 4-day old sculpture.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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