The Classic Jayhawk sculpture in front of the Kansas Union was discovered damaged Saturday morning in what could have been a foiled attempt to kidnap the statue just hours before the Kansas University football team took the field against Colorado.
The damaged bird was discovered about 7:45 a.m. by a KU maintenance employee, who then notified emergency dispatchers of the incident.
Vandalism to Jayhawk statues has been an issue since the 30 pieces of art were put on display for Jayhawks on Parade in 2003. The various versions of the KU icon have endured much in the last seven years. They’ve been blown up, had legs removed, perches toppled, accessories stolen and even been left for dead, headless in a dumpster. Bolts were removed and the statue was moved slightly in this most recent act of vandalism.
The Classic Jayhawk outside the union is not even the original. The sculpture that now greets generations of Jayhawks is a replacement. The switch was made in 2006 after attacks on the original version compromised the statue’s structural integrity. A new, stronger version was put in its place to withstand the demands of the high traffic area.
Two ATMs inside a small alcove of the Kansas Union were also damaged. The front plates of the machines were reportedly opened but it was unclear if any money had been taken.
Reports late Saturday afternoon stated the targeted Jayhawk statue had been removed from outside the union.
A spokesperson from the KU Department of Public Safety said there was no additional information to release regarding the case.