MnDOT halts drone flights over Van Gogh crop art

Aerial view of the site
Staff at Thomson Reuters, which owns the site in Eagan, Minn., where Stan Herd is at work, have been documenting the development of the image using cameras mounted on low-flying drones. This image was taken on the evening of July 28, 2015.
Jeff Ferguson | Courtesy Thomson Reuters

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has ordered a halt to drone flights over a work of art in Eagan.

In a written statement, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Thomson Reuters confirmed that MnDOT had ordered them to stop flying an unmanned aircraft system, commonly known as a drone.

The device was being used to document the progress of crop artist Stan Herd's reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's painting "Olive Trees" on a one-acre plot owned by Thomson Reuters in Eagan. The project is part of the institute's centennial celebrations, and is designed to be seen from planes landing at Minneapolis-St Paul International.

The statement said the organizers had thought they had made the proper inquiries about using the device and that they were outside the 5-mile exclusion zone that bars such devices near airports. They said they would comply with the order.

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