Alexa

Mystery solved: Teen put piano on Miami sandbar

 A U.S. Coast Guard boat passes near a grand piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 in Miami. The piano recently showed up on the ...
 A U.S. Coast Guard boat passes near a grand piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 in Miami. The piano recently showed up on the ...
 Freelance photographer Karla Murray of New York photographs a grand piano that recently appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Miami, Wednesday, Jan....
 Nicholas Harrington, 16, poses on a dock in his back yard, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 in Miami. Harrington, who said that he was looking to boost his ar...
 In this Jan. 2, 2011 photo provided by Nicholas Harrington, Julian Kolevris-Roots, 18, is shown sitting at a piano on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne B...

Biscayne Bay Piano

A U.S. Coast Guard boat passes near a grand piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 in Miami. The piano recently showed up on the ...

APTOPIX Miami Bay Piano

A U.S. Coast Guard boat passes near a grand piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 in Miami. The piano recently showed up on the ...

Miami Bay Piano

Freelance photographer Karla Murray of New York photographs a grand piano that recently appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Miami, Wednesday, Jan....

Miami-Bay Piano

Nicholas Harrington, 16, poses on a dock in his back yard, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 in Miami. Harrington, who said that he was looking to boost his ar...

Miami-Bay Piano

In this Jan. 2, 2011 photo provided by Nicholas Harrington, Julian Kolevris-Roots, 18, is shown sitting at a piano on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne B...

The rumors can stop swirling: The baby grand piano that turned up on a Miami sandbar was burned to tatters by New Year's revelers, then brought to its new home by a television designer's teenage son who said Thursday he hoped the idea might help him get into a prestigious art school.
Theories of the instrument's origin had abounded, with some saying they saw helicopters and television crews hovering around the piano. Others tried to claim responsibility, but Nicholas Harrington, 16, had his endeavor on videotape.
Harrington said he wanted to leave his artistic mark on Miami's seascape as the artist Christo did in the early 1980s when he draped 11 small islands in Biscayne Bay with hot pink fabric. And if it helped the high school junior get into Manhattan's Cooper Union college, that would be OK, too.
"I wanted to create a whimsical, surreal experience. It's out of the every day for the boater," Harrington told The Associated Press.
"I don't like it be considered as a prank," he said. "It's more of a movement."
On Jan. 2, Harrington, his older brother Andrew and two neighbors lifted the instrument, which had been trashed during a holiday party, onto the family's 22-foot (6.7-meter) boat and took it out on Biscayne Bay. There, they left it on the highest spot along a sandbar.
Harrington is the son of "Burn Notice" production designer J. Mark Harrington. The piano is an old movie prop that sat for four years in Harrington's grandmother's garage. The teen had talked about hoisting the instrument from a tree or using it in a music video, among other projects, his mother said, but nothing happened until the winter break from school.
The teen said he grew up in a family that appreciated art and architecture, and he had his parents' support for his scheme.
"The weirdness of it all just comes easily," he said.
The piano sat undisturbed in the bay until last week, when Suzanne Beard, a local resident, took her boat over to the sandbar to take a look. Her picture of pelicans roosting on the instrument ended up on the National Geographic website. From there, the story went viral, much to Harrington's surprise.
"We pretty much forgot about it until it became super popular," the teen said.
He said he had planned to remain anonymous _ except for including photos of the installation in his college application _ until others began claiming responsibility.
"I think it was much more powerful as a mystery," said the teen's mother, Annabel Harrington. "It put Miami on the map in a good way."
It's not clear what will happen to the piano. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission isn't responsible for moving such items and the U.S. Coast Guard won't get involved unless it becomes a hazard to navigation.
Harrington and his mother said they are prepared to retrieve the piano.
"It's just another adventure," the teen said.