Atwater Park visitors surprised to find the words "cheap Jew" on Jaume Plensa sculpture

SHOREWOOD -- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and many found the Jaume Plensa sculpture in Shorewood’s Atwater Park to be beautiful -- however, a man visiting from New Jersey, found it offensive.

Jaume Plensa sculpture

"I literally saw the term 'cheap Jew,' as soon as I walked up to the statue. It was like right in front of me," said Matt Sweetwood, offended by sculpture.

He was so offended he blogged about it and his post has gone viral.

"My blog,, has over 30,000 views," said Sweetwood.

Back at Atwater Park, some aren't so sure.

Jaume Plensa sculpture

"I am not buying it. I just think if you put letters together you are going to find words," said a park visitor.

The sculpture has been a staple of the park for five years. It's a metal piece of art made up of letters and according to the artist, those letters are utilized to create a skin of an anonymous figure with each letter's placement being entirely at random.

Matt Sweetwood says no way.

"The word 'cheap' and 'Jew,' I mean, to me that coincidence is just too great because that is one of the top three slurs you always hear referred to as Jews," said Sweetwood.

Many have stopped by the park to see for themselves.

Jaume Plensa sculpture

"I've looked at this a million times," said Michael Mishlove, lives in Shorewood.

And Michael Mishlove says he sees the words "bad Jew" -- but he doesn't know what to make of it.

"I am befuddled. I think it's an extraordinary coincidence at best or something predacious at worst," said Mishlove.

In a statement released by the Village of Shorewood, officials say the artist is "deeply saddened that his sculpture has been so egregiously misinterpreted."

By Saturday morning, the sculpture had been removed.

Atwater Park Jaume Plensa sculpture removed

The Village of Shorewood officials say once the sculpture is restored and repaired, it will be put back in its place.