THUNDER BAY – The ugly head of vandalism has reared its head at Marina Park at Prince Arthur’s Landing. On at least three separate occasions over the last few months, vandals have targeted the “Balloon Animals”on the new Children’s Garden at Prince Arthur’s Landing. The acts of vandalism have broken large pieces off of three of the 10 stone sculptures.
The artwork was selected through a competition open to local and national artists, administered by the City’s Public Art Program and is worth over $95,000.
“The intent of this installation was to have something inviting and interactive that would appeal to children’s imaginations,” said Leah Bayly, Supervisor of Cultural Services & Events. “Feedback from children in City summer programs influenced the selection of the artwork, and the animals have been extremely popular with all ages. It is extremely disheartening to see them thoughtlessly damaged in this way.”
The City is working with the original artist team, Paul Slipper and Nadine Stefan of Vancouver, to repair the damage prior to the busy summer season at the park. The repairs are anticipated to cost over $5,000. In response to being notified of the vandalism, Stefan noted, “How sad that people have to vandalize a children’s garden. It would have taken serious force to break them.”
The damage has been reported to Police, and the area will be monitored. Anyone with information about these acts of vandalism should contact Crime Stoppers at 623-8477.