Join the Debate Surrounding DIA’s Most Controversial Piece of Art

 Join the debate surrounding DIA's most controversial piece of art at Denver Airport Colorado

As the Denver International Airport neared completion in 1995, the old Stapleton Airport struggled to accommodate the influx of people traveling to and from Denver. However, despite the state’s need for a larger airport, there was no way to predict the amount of controversy that would surround it.

At fifty-four square miles, DIA is the largest airport in the United States and second largest in the world. Not only was it costly to build, it took an unprecedented amount of time to complete. And with details like multiple unmarked buildings, a level built into the ground that is protected from vibrations, and gate and door numbers corresponding to emergency action plans to “people in the know,” some conspiracy theorists have suggested that DIA is hiding an underground bunker intended to safeguard government officials, the New World Order, or even Neo-Nazis (due to the swastika-like shape of the runways) in the event of an apocalypse.

Hints supporting this theory also exist in the airport’s artwork. The dark murals painted in the airport’s terminals, for example, allude to the end of civilization as we know it. Examine one and discover refugees living in a basement and the Lord of Death brandishing an AK-47, killing the dove of peace. In another, there’s horrific destruction, the extinction of multiple species, and a little girl holding a Mayan tablet insinuating Dec. 21, 2012—the end of the world.

While these murals are unanimously disturbing, no symbol in the airport draws more debate, or is more contested, than the mighty “Blue Mustang,” a 32-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture that greets visitors near the airport’s main terminals. This cobalt blue mustang, commonly known as “Bluecifer” or “Satan’s Stead,” has fiery red eyes and a demonic face that make it appear bloodthirsty and devilish. Surrounded by controversy since its erection in 2008, multiple groups have unsuccessfully tried to remove it, and for many, it is yet another symbol linking the airport to supposed underground facilities. But, for those who know that during “Blue Mustang’s” creation a piece of the sculpture broke off, pinned its artist against the wall, and cut an artery in his leg, ultimately killing him, the purchase and display of the sculpture is even more bizarre.

Conspiracy theorists believe the horse symbolizes death and destruction and is a marker for the supposed underground facility. However, there are also those who recognize its representation of the wild spirit of the American West or who call it awesome and amazing. Honestly, I can’t help but applaud DIA for choosing a sculpture that warrants such debate, that calls attention to Colorado’s bold, daring, and risk-taking citizens. I feel “Blue Mustang” illustrates our passion and our desire to protect our land and our ideals. While the mustang’s exterior can ignite chills, its surreal energy should also be praised. Moreover, no one has yet stated what would possess a super-secret organization, like the New World Order, to blatantly display “Blue Mustang” in order to show off its headquarters underneath the world’s tenth busiest airport, to 50 million passengers a year. It defeats the purpose of being secret, doesn’t it?

About our extraordinary writer: Lindsay Diamond is a novelist and freelance writer living in the mountains of central Colorado. Visit to learn more.

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