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New England town finds nothing sweet in bakery mural

Posted On: Apr. 18, 2023 10:45 AM CST


The owner of a bakery who allowed high school art students to paint a giant mural featuring frosted delicacies is running afoul of a town ordinance in Conway, New Hampshire, on the allowable size of advertisements.

Because Leavitt’s Country Bakery owner Sean Young sees the 90-square-feet depiction of a rising sun over a mountain range made of sprinkle-covered chocolate and strawberry donuts, a blueberry muffin, a cinnamon roll and other pastries as a mural — and free speech — he sued the town, according to the ordeal chronicled in the Associated Press.

Apparently, the town zoning board in the town of 10,000 – bent on preserving a rural ambiance in the town — won’t leave it alone. They decided that the pastry painting “was not so much art as advertising, and so could not remain as is because of its size.”

Faced with modifying or removing the mural, or possibly dealing with fines and criminal charges, Mr. Young sued on the grounds of protecting his free speech rights. The painting could stay right where it is it if showed actual mountains, instead of pastries suggesting mountains, or if the building wasn’t a bakery, according to the AP.

“They said it would be art elsewhere,” Mr. Young told a reporter. “It’s just not art here…. The town should not have the right to police art.”