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HUTCHINSON, Kansas – Police are investigating several acts of vandalism against two sculptures on display.
The sculptures were put on display back in May as part of the Downtown Hutchinson Sculpture Walk exhibit, but they have already been the target of vandalism.
In one case, a piece titled “Eternal” was turned into a temporary exhibit. The metal sculpture of rings and semi-circles was so badly damaged that city leaders had to ship it back to the artist in Georgia so that the damage could be fixed.
“Art represents the civilized part of our society,” Meryl Dye, Hutchinson’s assistant city manager, said. “The damage against [the sculptures] is pretty uncivilized.”
Another sculpture down the street, dubbed “Butterfly Girl” and depicting a girl catching butterflies in a basket, already had its damages fixed. Someone cut the basket to steal coins that passers-by were tossing into it for good luck, Hutchinson police said.
According to police, the vandalism apparently happened sometime between June 20 and the 4th of July.
“These are world-class sculptures,” Dye said. “We’re very fortunate to have them in our exhibit. Unfortunately, not everybody appreciates these pieces the way most of us do.”
Gregory Johnson, the artist who by agreement with the city is liable for the cost of damages, is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Anyone with information can call Hutchinson Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.