By Andrea J. Cook
Detmers, who created the massive bronze sculpture on display at Costner’s “Tatanka: Story of the Bison,” outside Deadwood is suing the actor to force him to sell the 17-piece sculpture she refers to as “Lakota Bison Jump.”
Costner commissioned the work in the early 1990s with the intention of using it as a focal point for The Dunbar, a five-star multi-million-dollar resort he envisioned building on 1,000 acres on the edge of Deadwood.
Detmers spent more than six years creating the 14 bison and three mounted Native American hunters that compose the sculpture.
The resort has not materialized, but Costner said Tuesday that he still entertains offers on the project.
“I haven’t given up,” Costner said, in response to questioning from Russell Janklow. Janklow and Andrew Damgaard, both of Sioux Falls, are representing Detmers.
Judge: Tatanka sculpture stays with Costner
Kevin Costner did not breach a contract with local artist Peggy Detmers when he placed the "Lakota Bison Jump" bronze collection he commissioned at his Tatanka attraction near Deadwood, according to Circuit Judge Randall Macy.
In a decision filed this week, Macy said that Costner met the terms of the contract. Furthermore, Detmers' participation in the development of the site and the placement of the 17 sculptures at the site indicated that she approved of the site, the judge said in his written opinion.
The latest on the subject:
Forget 'Wolves'—Kevin Costner Grapples With Bison These Days
Giant Statues That Were Meant to Roam Deadwood Resort Now in Legal Cross Hairs
On Monday, the actor, who is 57, and the wildlife artist will face off in South Dakota Supreme Court over a contract the two signed in 2000. In it, Mr. Costner promised to either build the resort by 2010, place the sculpture in a mutually agreeable location elsewhere, or sell the multimillion-dollar work and split the profit.
Mr. Costner's spokesman declined to comment, citing the litigation. Mr. Costner's lawyers argued in court that he met the terms of the 2000 agreement by displaying the work at a $6 million visitor center on part of the land intended for the resort.
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