Pro Tip: Do Not Attempt to Climb Sculptures. You Might Get Trapped.

And also fined once you've been extracted

Talus Dome
The Talus Dome in 2020.
Talusdome - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In 2011, a piece of public art titled Talus Dome was completed in Edmonton. In an article in Edmonton Journal published a few weeks afterwards, David Staples described it as the city’s “most expensive, most exposed and best piece of public art.” It’s made from a thousand silver balls and stands far taller than a human being, and it’s that last quality that evidently led a man to decide that it would be a good idea to climb it.

Spoiler alert: it was not a good idea. Instead, the would-be parkour king of public art found himself trapped inside of the sculpture, necessitating emergency services to mount a rescue operation. Once he was extracted from within, he found himself facing a fine of thousands of dollars for, you know, climbing something that you’re not supposed to climb.

Unfortunately, the rescue operation necessitated damaging the sculpture to get the climber out. As Smithsonian Magazine reports, one of the balls was removed in the process, and several others were damaged by the climber. Emergency services were summoned to the scene after a passerby noticed that someone was inside of the sculpture.

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In an early favorite for the understatement of the year, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services district chief Troy Brady told CTV News, “It’s definitely different than what we would typically use [the jaws of life] for.” Again, please remember: public art is not a climbing gym. This particular story took an absurd turn, but it could just as easily have ended much more seriously.

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