Venus De Cello by Peter Vogelaar was damaged

Second statue in downtown collection damaged

Nelson’s downtown sculpture collection has taken another hit with a further piece of art being damaged.

Nelson’s downtown sculpture collection has taken another hit with a further piece of art being damaged.

Venus De Cello by Winlaw’s Peter Vogelaar located in an amenities area in the 400 block of Baker Street was damaged, likely overnight Thursday.

“It’s a shame,” said Nelson’s cultural development officer Joy Barrett. “It’s definitely frustrating.”

Barrett noticed the statue down Friday morning and the piece of art was collected by public works soon afterwards. Vogelaar is away and when he returns, its creator will look at the sculpture.

“Touch wood, it doesn’t seem too badly damaged,” said Barrett of the sculpture made of granite. “We’re lucky it didn’t just smash into a million pieces when it hit the ground.”

There is some scraping to Venus De Cello but it’s repairable, she said.

The creation is one of five sculptures in Nelson’s downtown put up this past spring as a public art project sponsored by the City of Nelson. Man Waiting by Sergio Raffo was damaged in mid-August. It’s still unknown how that sculpture was broken.

“It’s upsetting. This is the second one down within a month,” she said.

While the woman responsible for introducing the sculptures to the city is an “optimist” who likes to think the best of people, she’s pretty sure that Venus De Cello was purposefully vandalized.

“We’re assuming this was intentional because it’s a pretty heavy piece,” she said.

Meanwhile, Barrett said the response to the public sculptures so far has been positive and this act doesn’t deter the effort to bring more public art to the community.

“But it only takes one person to kind of have that negative impact,” she said. “These things happen and we move on. We need to have public art in the downtown. Vandalism is just an unfortunate thing that does occur.”

Castlegar is in its fourth year of Sculpture Walk and there has been the odd act of mischief and vandalism but none to this degree, said Barrett.

Police are investigating. It is hoped that because the statue was located outside a bank, footage from the security camera could help determine what happened to the sculpture.

Barrett asks anyone seeing vandalism occurring to public art speak out and report the incident.

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