Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but the city of Chicago said the design on its new vehicle stickers is just too controversial to be appreciated by area residents.
Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza said the sticker, designed by a 15-year-old area student, depicting hands above a heart reaching up toward symbols representing first responders, received the most votes -- 18,000 -- in an art contest that was open to the city's high school students.
However, the winning design was pulled from the printers after complaints surfaced that the image may contain signs used by the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The image was replaced with a runner-up entry depicting super heroes.
According to the publication, the theme of the image contest was to honor the city's firefighters, police and paramedics.
In a statement, Mendoza said, "Every artist has a back story and oftentimes artwork is controversial. However, the artwork on Chicago's city stickers should not be controversial. I cannot ask drivers to put a sticker on their cars that may be misconstrued as containing gang symbols. Communities suffer as a result of gang violence.”
Mendoza went on to add that no decision has been made on whether the teen artist would be asked to return his prize: a $1,000 savings bond.