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Archive for Friday, June 27, 2003

Fourth Jayhawk vandalized

June 27, 2003

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Police are investigating the vandalism of "Merhawk on the Kaw," one of the 30 fiberglass Jayhawk statues scattered throughout Lawrence as part of the "Jayhawks on Parade" exhibit.

Early Sunday morning, someone pushed the statue onto its side, causing about $400 in damage. At least three other Jayhawks have been vandalized since the birds went on display in late March.

"I don't know why people can't leave them alone," said Toni Retonde, manager of Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, where the Merhawk sits.

The Merhawk, which has the lower body of a fish, was created by artist Sharon Dewey and sponsored by the bookstore. Police are investigating whether the act was caught on one of the store's security cameras, Retonde said.

Early in the display, someone ripped the good ear off "Gogh Hawks Gogh," a Jayhawk in the 1100 block of Massachusetts Street inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh. The other ear was bandaged.

A 1960s-themed Jayhawk at Ninth and Kentucky streets lost its sunglasses, and a Jayhawk disguised as a cow in the 800 block of Massachusetts Street had a bell stolen from around its neck.

The Jayhawks will remain on display through November, when they will be donated to selected organizations.

Susan Henderson, a spokeswoman for the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau, which organized the event, said the vandalism was disappointing in part because the Jayhawks were artists' creations -- not just property.

"It's disrespectful, is what it is," she said.

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