A giant spoon was left in front of a pharmaceutical company in protest by a Connecticut artist.
The 800-pound, 11-foot-long steel spoon symbolizes a much heavier burden for two artists.
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"A symbol of the negative emotion I felt of the opioid addiction of my brother, Danny," Westwood native Domenic Esposito said. "For the last 14 years, we have been dealing with it.”
Esposito traveled to Connecticut to work with art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez to make the sculpture, and then move it to the front of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut.
“I’ve gotten a lot of tweets and messages about this," Esposito said. "Everyone knows what the missing spoon is who has family members that were affected by this.”
Earlier in June, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against Purdue on behalf of the state.
The lawsuit accuses the maker of oxycontin of illegally promoting the use of opioids and misrepresenting the risks of addiction and death connected to the drug.
It was the first lawsuit that also names the drug maker's executives and directors.
Purdue has denied the allegations and released a statement on the protest.
“We share the protestors’ concern about the opioid crisis, and respect their right to peacefully express themselves," the protest said.
Gallery owner Fernando Alvarez said the crimes are never punished, and changes need to occur.
"No one ever goes to jail for these things and that’s why the epidemic continues to happen," Alvarez said. "We are talking about real lives.”
Alvarez ended up in handcuffs on Friday for a minor charge of obstructing free passage.
City workers using heavy equipment hauled away the giant spoon, but the two men hope the weight of the message stays.
The spoon will become a part of the exhibit at the Alvarez Gallery in Stamford.
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