Archive for Thursday, January 12, 2006

Damaged Jayhawk can’t be repaired

January 12, 2006

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The Kansas University Classic Jayhawk sculpture that took a beating last month will never stand before the Kansas Union again.

After more than two years at its perch, the fiberglass bird is being retired. A sturdier sculpture, costing about $2,000, will fill its place.

"We think we've done everything we need to do to make the new one something that will last for quite a while," said Wayne Pearse, an engineer with KU Memorial Unions who tried to doctor the damaged bird back to health.

Classic Jayhawk, which was featured in 2003's Jayhawks on Parade, was a favorite for many people. Children have been known to climb atop it, and many people had their photos snapped by its side.

Police in December arrested two 23-year-old men not affiliated with KU for roughing up the Jayhawk. The sculpture was ripped from its concrete base and rolled on the pavement.

"As we worked on it, we continued to find more and more damage," Pearse said.

Weblike cracks in the sculpture's body undermined its structural integrity.


Classic Jayhawk, by Katie Kring, sits in the basement of the Kansas Union damaged beyond repair. Wayne Pearse, right, an engineer with KU Memorial Unions, tried to repair the sculpture after it was damaged by vandals but the damage was determined to be too severe to fix.

Classic Jayhawk, by Katie Kring, sits in the basement of the Kansas Union damaged beyond repair. Wayne Pearse, right, an engineer with KU Memorial Unions, tried to repair the sculpture after it was damaged by vandals but the damage was determined to be too severe to fix.

"We just felt like it was unsafe to put it out there," said Pat Beard, building service director for KU Memorial Unions.

Classic Jayhawk wasn't the only one damaged by vandals. In 2003, when painted Jayhawks were displayed in various locations as part of Jayhawks on Parade, several were attacked:

¢ "Gogh Hawks Gogh," a Jayhawk inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh, had his good ear ripped off.

¢ A 1960s-themed Jayhawk lost its sunglasses.

¢ A Jayhawk disguised as a cow had a bell stolen from around its neck.

¢ "Merhawk on the Kaw," which had the lower body of a fish, was pushed onto its side, causing about $400 in damage.

Not unlike other pieces of public art, the outdoor Jayhawk sculptures can be vulnerable, said Susan Henderson, marketing director for the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau, which organized Jayhawks on Parade.

"We knew that that was a risk," Henderson said.

KU spokesman Todd Cohen said Classic Jayhawk was pretty popular.

"It's got to be tough," Cohen said. "They just flock to it."

Its high visibility location made the bird more vulnerable to abuse.

"It gets bumped and knocked around a little bit," Beard said. "It's never been attacked like it was this time."

Now the retired sculpture sits in storage, untouched in case it needs to be used as evidence in the case against the two men.

Beard said he hoped the vandals would pay for the cost of a new sculpture.

The replacement bird, which KU expects to receive in two weeks, will be foam-filled with extra-strong legs.

Comments

trinity 9 years, 7 months ago

i hope they prosecute the ruffian miscreant buffoons who damaged classic 'Hawk and/or any OTHER 'Hawk statues to the fullest extent of the law.

no wait on second thought-let ME mete out their punishment!!

i bleed crimson&blue. a po'd alum

mztrendy 9 years, 7 months ago

seriously, listen up Lawrence, one VERY important rule that if everyone could remember the town would be a lot better town. KEEP YOUR DARN HANDS TO YOURSELF. How hard is that?

princess 9 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm... "Police in December arrested two 23-year-old men not affiliated with KU for roughing up the Jayhawk."

Well, with whom are they affiliated then?

Confrontation 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the homeless, that we are being so mean to (sarcasm), are the ones destroying stuff. Why can't they destroy the ugly pieces of overpriced art all over downtown? Leave the Jayhawks alone.

mztrendy 9 years, 7 months ago

confrontation, how can they destroy the ones downtown when they aren't allowed there? LOL.

compmd 9 years, 7 months ago

marion, you are correct, fiberglass can be repaired. however, the simplicity depends on the fiber type, weave, resin, and curing. if the sculptures were spider-web cracking they probably used cheap fiberglass (mostly resin) which isnt good for a structure that is going to be subjected to loads vandals can put on it. this cracking also increases the amount of repainting needed after patching to make the sculpture look right. composites are tricky creatures, the university should have thought more about what the sculptures would be subjected to before deciding what to build them out of.

b_asinbeer 9 years, 7 months ago

Lots of Super Glue...can you buy them in bulk?

Jeffrey Watts 9 years, 7 months ago

compmd: You must have missed something - the university didn't "decide" anything in relation to this. Jayhawks on Parade was a summer-long art exposition hosted by the COC if I recall correctly. The sculptures weren't meant to last.

I'm sure the reason the damage is "too severe to repair" is that it would cost more to fix it than to just make another. They still have the original mold after all, and "Classic Jayhawk"'s paint scheme isn't unique.

coolmom 9 years, 7 months ago

its too bad about the vandalized hawks, my kids have pictures of themselves next to most of them in their photo albums and we even used one for a christmas card. time to repeat kindergarten and relearn the rules...

badger 9 years, 7 months ago

Why is this back up in the 'new stories' box?

Oh, wait, so people will think something happened.

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