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Lee Harrop and Nicolas J Bullot

This chapter analyses the decommission of a work of public art entitled I See Red and expands this case study into a discussion of the just approach to works threatened by contested interpretations and decommission. The case of I See Red raises what the authors term ‘the Decommission Problem’: what is the normative approach that ought to guide our decision-making about the decommission of a contested artwork? I See Red was commissioned in 2015 to this chapter’s first author by the City of Perth, Western Australia. The artistic concept of this work was to install a red neon sculpture with the words ‘Sacred Scared Scarred’ on the Old Court House Law Museum. However, the judiciary of the Supreme Court of Western Australia expressed the opinion that the application of the words ‘scared’ and ‘scarred’ to a building so long associated with the administration of justice was ‘entirely inappropriate’.