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Quirky garden on historic register

POSTED: April 10, 2012 9:44 a.m.

PENNVILLE, Ga. — Folk art legend Howard Finster's quirky Paradise Garden has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The state announced Monday that the garden featured in a 1983 R.E.M. video is an "exceptional" example of 20th century visionary art. Finster, a bicycle repairman and preacher who turned to art to spread God's word, created the outdoor museum starting in the 1960s.

Finster has long been considered the grandfather of the American folk art movement. He filled the garden with primitive mosaics, sculptures and buildings.

The property fell into disrepair after his death in 2001, but a private foundation has been working to restore it. Chattooga County where the garden is located recently bought the property to help protect it.

It is about 100 miles northwest of Atlanta.

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