Engineers, mechanics renovate NC whirligigs


WILSON, N.C. (AP) — A collection of whimsical, wind-powered whirligigs built by a self-taught North Carolina artist is getting an overhaul that's as much about engineering as it is about art.

A 16-member team is working in a former downtown auto parts warehouse in Wilson, N.C., to restore about 30 whirligigs built by 93-year-old Vollis Simpson.

With the help of approximately $2 million in grants and donations, a few organizations are building the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson, roughly 40 miles east of Raleigh. It's scheduled to open in November 2013.

The whirligigs have captured attention across the country. Buyers include a shopping center in Albuquerque, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

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