43 presidential busts rotting away on a family farm

WILLIAMSBURG, VA (WWBT) - About 45 minutes east of Richmond, 43 large busts of former US presidents are sitting in a field crumbling apart.

The now-defunct Presidents Park opened in Williamsburg in 2004 at a cost of nearly $10 million. Six years later the project literally busted due to a lack of visitors.

The busts now sit in Howard Hankins' family farm in Croaker, according to DCist.com, because Hankins didn't feel right about destroying them.

Hankins, though, doesn't have a permit to open his farm to visitors, so the busts continue to decay due to their move to the farm and lack of maintenance.

Hankins told DCist in June 2015 that the busts weigh between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds.

Hankins and his crew were forced to crack some skulls, opening up a hole in each of the heads to expose the steel framework beneath them, DCist reports. They used an excavator to hoist the sculptures onto a flatbed.

Hankins tells Smithsonian.com that he's working with local governments to build a museum for the busts, but for now on this Presidents Day, they continue to fall apart.

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