Despite widespread worries that the mysterious Oakland street art gnomes’ days were numbered after Pacific Gas & Electric — to whose utility poles many of the mini-murals have been affixed — threatened to remove hundreds of them, NoCal gnome fans may now breathe a sigh of relief, as the energy company has opted against the mass gnomicide, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“We received a great deal of public feedback, so we’re declaring the poles gnome-man’s land. We’re not going to remove them,” Jason King, a spokesperson for PG&E told the Chronicle. “We’re committed to working with the artist, the city and the community to find a peaceful resolution.”
Though the identity of the gnome-painter remains a mystery, he or she sent PG&E an email pleading for leniency in the Lilliputian figures’ treatment. “I’m a resident of Oakland who simply thought this would be a nice way to make my fellow Oaklanders happy and proud,” he or she wrote. “We see too much garbage on the streets here, too many shootings, too much violence, not enough that makes one stop and smile. … They were meant to be an ongoing gift to my community.”
The artist also contacted Oakland City Hall, which convened an emergency meeting with PG&E. “We are holding peace talks in a secret mushroom patch near the Rose Garden,” City Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney‘s chief of staff Zac Wald told the Chronicle. “People love the gnomes, and they are District Three residents.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image via @pcooknews/Twitter.)