The owners of a Colorado mine, which is closed due to a legal dispute, said they are using art to stir up support for the mine's reopening.
Owner Robert Congdon said he plans to turn the Carbondale mine into a working industrial site and an artists' colony.
The plan would allow carvers to order a rock and chisel it in the mine, while tourists would be allowed to see the works in progress.
One carver, Jeremy Russell, started chiseling a large eagle into one of the walls in 2000.
Although residents have complained about the mine's noise for years, many are now supporting the idea of an artists' colony, the Post said.
Congdon said he has collected nearly 4,000 signatures from those who would like to see the mine opened up to tourists and artists.
But the work has stopped due to a legal dispute between the owners, Ebram Stone LLC, and governmental agencies, The Denver Post said.
The U.S. Forest Service is challenging the owners' right to be in operation year-round. The agency says the mine must prove it has viable veins of marble, and not just alabaster, to reopen on a permanent basis.