Investigation on Alma vandalism continues

By Madison Johnston

It could have been spray paint or chalk – police could not make an informed decision from the video. Since the incident, the sculpture has been cleaned off and there was no cost for repair.

Unfortunately, this is not the first instance of vandalism to the Alma Mater since the recent restoration of the statue a year ago.

Last October, someone took a sharp object and scratched at the eyes and face of two of the figures, the Alma Mater herself and Labor.

While police have the security camera footage of the recent incident, they are unable to tell who committed the vandalism.

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“Our goal in posting the footage was that one of those people would come forward with more information that we can identify the vandal,” said University Police Spokesman Pat Wade. “That has not happened yet, so again, like we always do when stuff like this happens, we are asking for the assistance of our campus community.”

Facilities and Services Spokesman Steve Breitwieser said the Alma Cam is on 24 hours a day. He said he hopes people can understand how much care and commitment has been put into preserving the statue.

“It was part of the conservation work to get everyone involved in that process to make sure that the sculpture came back and looked as good as it ever did,” Breitwieser said.

Because a year has passed since the sculpture’s return, Breitwieser said a part of the future plans is to see if it’s possible for the conserver to come back and see how the bronze is fairing.

This would also involve the conserver evaluating the damage of the scratches and spray paint.

“You wish that people understood the attention and effort that was made to make sure that when Alma Mater came back, she would look as tremendous and possible,” Breitwieser said.

Police said they can only do so much and need people who are out on the streets to report suspicious behavior so when something does happen, officials can hold the right people accountable.

Wade said the image of the Alma is the definitive image of our campus and, it’s disappointing to see that someone would take it upon themselves to deface the statue like this.

“We trust students to be respectful of University property,” said Wade, “We expect people to be respectful, and we have the security cameras, but as those can only do so much, it is really on the various members of the public to take responsibility for themselves and not do this kind of stuff.”

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