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Banana sculpture set to ride around West Lafayette

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – An apartment rental company’s 10-foot, aluminum banana sculpture that was the subject of a dispute with West Lafayette city officials is now mounted in the back of pickup truck as a rolling advertisement.

Granite Student Living’s banana truck is the latest use of its banana logo marketing to Purdue University students. The company first put the sculpture outside an apartment building last summer, running afoul of city officials a year after a fight over a large yellow banana painted the full length of a two-story rental house.

The company couldn’t find any local groups to take the sculpture and decided the truck would be a good way to have fun with it, Granite general manager Joel Brovont told the Journal & Courier.

“There are people who think we’re trying to be a thorn with this,” Brovont said Monday. “But that’s not it at all. We just have this banana sculpture on our hands and we need something to do with it. And here it is.”

City officials raised questions about the company not having necessary permits for a permanent structure and whether it was too close to the sidewalk after it was put up last summer. Granite removed it after nearly two months after the city suggested fines could be issued.

The new banana truck has the sculpture resting on brackets, with a hydraulic lift that can stand it straight up when the truck is stopped.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis didn’t raise objections to the banana truck.

“It is yet another creative way to promote their business,” Dennis said. “I hope they ran this by someone familiar with motor vehicle laws and that it doesn’t create problems with other vehicles or pedestrians.”