A US artist who chopped up three stolen traffic barrels to create a sculpture is facing charges despite his claims that he has produced a work of art.
Joseph Carnevale, from North Carolina, chopped up the three stolen orange and white traffic barrels from a construction site to create a massive sculpture of a roadside monster hitch-hiking.
Police insisted it was vandalism rather than art and dismantled the 10-foot "barrel monster" and arrested Carnevale.
Police charged him with larceny and destruction of property, both misdemeanours, and he is scheduled to appear in court next month.
Hundreds of online supporters want the charges dropped and the publicity has turned the history student and part-time construction worker into a local celebrity.
Even the construction company has become a fan, and wants the 21-year-old to create a replica of the figure that led to his arrest on June 10.
"It's surprising how many people have called attention to it," Carnevale said.