LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Three years ago, city
leaders broke ground on a new sculpture garden in the River Market district. It
is suppose to be a permanent home for works of art, but a groundskeeper noticed
several sculptures were missing, forced off their platform.
The sculptures total value
is about $20,000 dollars. The works of art could be in someone's home right now
or sold to a scrap yard.
The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden is
located on the north side of the Peabody Hotel. A serene spot overlooking the
Arkansas River where you can forget the hustle and bustle of downtown that is just
On Robert Johnson's first
stroll down the walkways, he noticed one bronze sculpture missing, two others
vandalized. "It's really sad. We see people doing great things for the
community like these sculptures here, but people want to come and ruin
opportunities for others to come and enjoy downtown."
The garden is made
possible through support of the Vogel Schwartz Foundation, volunteers, donors
and maintained by Little Rock Parks and Recreation.
Dr. Dean Kumpuris says, "Every
Saturday I'm out there weeding, planting and cleaning."
The Sculpture Garden is the
vision of City Director Dean Kumpuris. It is a memorial for his daughter, a
sanctuary for visitors. Instead of anger, he is looking on the bright side. "It
will hopefully let people get to know what a great asset we have. It is
terrible that people do things that are destructive and hurts something that
makes our city better. That's the only way you can look at it."
In all, three pieces of
art were damaged. Dr. Kumpuris concludes, "Public art is an important thing for
this city. When you put fine pieces of art outside, you stand the chance of these
sorts of things occurring."
Little Rock Police suspect
the thieves will try and sell the bronze sculptures to a scrap yard. The groundskeeper discovered the sculpture damage on Friday. Investigators don't have a suspect at this time. The sculptures were insured
and the city plans to put in more cameras to monitor the area, to make it safer
If you have any information you are asked to call Little Rock Police.
The three pieces are described as followed:
"Conversation with Myself," (pictured) is a two-part piece. The smaller portion is a two-feet tall long-legged man looking up. It was forcefully removed by apparently working it back and forth until the metal broke at the ankle.
"Birds of Happiness," is a three feet tall piece that depicts two storks in flight. It was likely removed by a grinder and the base that was still in place.
"Uptown Saturday Night," is foot tall woman dancer. It was removed by grinding the mounting bolts from the bottom of the sculpture, however, the artwork remained intact.
Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:14:58 GMT
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