Someone has poured a caustic liquid on a popular public artwork in downtown Bloomington.
Beth Whisman, director of the McLean County Museum of History, said she suspects bleach was used on the copper sculpture of Abraham Lincoln on a bench. The liquid has eaten away a protective coating and begun to oxidize the copper.
“Once you see green, that might be irreversible damage. We’re very concerned, we’re upset,” said Whisman.
She said she hopes the Bloomington Police will access video cameras on the Washington Street corridor, but the museum itself does not have external cameras that bear on that spot.
Whisman said the sculpture is popular for photographs of tourists and kids, and even a U.S. senator or two. She said the damage happened sometime after the museum closed Saturday evening.
“It’s photographed all the time. People across the street tell us they sit in their windows and watch as the public engages with local history,” said Whisman.
She said she hopes the Bloomington Police can work with the museum to identify the culprit because it seemed targeted.
“This type of vandalism might not be seen as a major crime, but it seems very intentional. We’re wondering what it says about people’s attitudes about public art and their local history,” said Whisman.
Whisman said the Lincoln Bench cost $30,000 when former Mayor Judy Markowitz donated it.
Thank you to our staff and to artist Rick Harney for quickly acting to counteract this weekend's damage to the Abraham Lincoln Bench. We ask anyone with information about this vandalism to contact the BPD's at (309) 434-2355 Monday thru Friday 8a-4p or firstname.lastname@example.org. #BloNo pic.twitter.com/3N8gg4rc4R
— McHistory (@McHistoryMuseum) January 23, 2018
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