French police were left red-faced when they destroyed a hemp art installation at the Lyon Architecture Biennale, after mistaking it for a cannabis farm.
Artist Thierry Boutonnier and architectural firm Fabriques Architectures Paysages planted a mix of barley, hemp and flax on a derelict 4,000 sq m plot of land for the piece, titled Waiting Area.
‘The installation temporarily reactivates a place that in the future is going to undergo a profound change, but which today is dormant,’ says the biennale’s website.
Fête champêtre fin de @Biennalearchi par #FabriquesArchitecturesPaysages et T.Boutonnier 8 juillet 17h-23h. Infos : https://t.co/nlq3Q7fm22 pic.twitter.com/iToJ6lpwtI
— VAD (@assovad) June 30, 2017
Waiting Area was installed in the city’s Confluence district – a former industrial area undergoing significant regeneration – and it was meant to host the closing party for the biennale, which wrapped on 9 July.
According to news outlet Le Progrès, officers ripped up the crops after confusing them for the drug, which is illegal in France, on a routine patrol. Hemp has a much lower level of psychoactive-chemical THC than marijuana.
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