Otterness had repeatedly apologized for shooting the dog. He has said that his actions were indefensible.
Some questions: Is your reaction to public art colored by what you know about the artist? Should public art be chosen only after the artist has been vetted and proven to have a "clean" record? If so, who would decide which artists are personally worthy of a public contract? Is an often repeated apology enough to permit the setting aside of a person's decades-old repugnant action? What if the issue was the artist's sexual orientation or his race or religion?
We don't allow convicted pedophiles to become public school teachers not because of our distaste for their crime but because we don't want it repeated. Convictions mean the forfeiture of rights. In the case of Otterness and the outraged citizens of San Francisco, his new sculptures would not endanger animals. Should his previous actions be paid for by his forfeiture of the opportunity to bid on public art projects?
(photo by Tyler Hicks for the NYTimes)