Border Basketball Art Installation Removed By Feds

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 4:14pm
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 4:15pm

Border Basketball
Juliana Ahumada
New York-based artist Jeremy John Kaplan installed this basketball hoop on the south side of the border fence in Nogales, Sonora, in August. It was removed by federal officials in early September.

Federal officials have removed a basketball hoop that was installed on the border fence in Nogales, Sonora.

As a part of his Gold Nets project, New York-based artist Jeremy John Kaplan installed about 30 gold-dyed nets across Nogales, Sonora, in August. In collaboration with city officials, he also installed a hoop, backboard and net on the south side of the border fence.

“Our idea is to recontextualize and shift the narrative as much as we can, to really point out the humanity and the community that exists in both sides,” he said.

On Thursday morning, U.S. Border Patrol removed the hoop in coordination with Mexican officials, according to information provided by a spokesman. The agency was concerned it could be used to aid illegal crossings and possibly lead to injuries.

The U.S. government installed concertina wire on the same section starting last fall.

It is prohibited to attach anything to the border fence without prior approval from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to the spokesman.

Kaplan said he was disappointed by the removal.

“I think that area sort of specifically is under a fair amount of surveillance as it is,” he said. “I don’t see it as invasive in the sense that it would have done any harm or had any potential negativity attached to it.”

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