After many months of negotiating and campaigning by the Save Prada Marfa group, the Prada Marfa installation by Elmgreen & Dragset has been saved in Marfa, Texas and is now recognized as a museum.
The sculpture resembles a brick-and-mortar Prada store and was inaugurated on the side of the desert highway back in 2005. Last year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) threatened to have the installation removed, calling it a form of "outdoor advertising" and stating that the owners did not have the required permits and licenses for the piece to exist in that spot. To add to the struggle, the sculpture was vandalized with graffiti and TOMS logos, and the Ballroom Marfa Foundation was tasked with restoring a sculpture that could soon be forced out.
According to Dazed, the claim by TxDOT has finally been dropped, and Ballroom Marfa has successfully gotten a lease and museum classification for the installation. They posted the following message to their blog:
As of February 1, 2014, the Ballroom Marfa Foundation, a domestic nonprofit corporation, has leased the property on which the building stands. The site is now an art museum site and the building is their single art exhibit. As such, associated signage on the building is now considered to be an “on-premise” sign under state rules and does not require a state permit under the Highway Beautification Act.
TxDOT's Deputy Executive Director John Barton told the Associated Press. "TxDOT appreciates and values the cultural significance of Prada Marfa, and we are happy to have found a win-win solution that keeps it in its current location."