Sculpture worth $ 12,000 destroyed in Adrian

ADRIAN, Michigan (WTVG) – A sculpture worth an estimated $ 12,000 was destroyed over the weekend in Adrian and police say they now know the person responsible.

According to Adrian Police, the statue was destroyed overnight Saturday on Maumee Street in downtown Adrian when it was knocked over. Witnesses later identified the person responsible, however, police are not yet releasing that person’s name pending formal charges.

“Oh, I was heartbroken and I still am,” said Ken Thompson, the co-owner of Flatlanders Sculpture Supply and Art Gallery in Blissfield. “It’s unfortunate that this happened.”

Thompson also runs Midwest Sculpture Initiative, which works to place outdoor artwork in cities throughout the area.

“We started about 20 years ago doing these outdoor sculpture exhibits and it was my personal desire to have more opportunities to exhibit my work,” Thompson explained. “We started doing those and it kind of turned into a snowball, and there was a number of years where we were doing 20 a year.”

The sculpture in Adrian was one of ten on display in the city and part of the Midwest Sculpture Initiative.

“That piece was done by Mark Chatterley, who is nationally and internationally known sculpture artist from Williamston, Michigan,” Thompson said. “It was a stack of people sitting on top of one another in the thinker’s pose.”

Thompson said Chatterley likely spent more than 100 hours working on the sculpture, which was put on display outside of the Croswell Opera House one month ago.

“The damage was pretty extensive and it was broken into a couple big pieces and a number of small pieces,” said Eric Gabel, the director of marketing for the Croswell Opera House. “You just hate to see anybody’s artwork, but especially from someone who just poured their time, expertise, and heart into it, to be treated that way.”

Thompson collected a few pieces that were salvageable, but he said the rest of the ceramic sculpture is a loss.

“The fact that people feel they need to interact with art in a negative way bugs me to no end,” he said. “You don’t have to look at it and move on.”

Recently, a man who was protesting climate change, threw cake at the Mona Lisa on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Meanwhile, police in Adrian said there was no specific motive for destroying the ceramic sculpture, and alcohol played a factor in the decision to knock it over.

“That sculpture did nothing to that young man, just as the Mona Lisa did nothing to the person with the cake,” Thompson said. “If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, but you don’t need to act out against it.”

The case has been submitted to the Lenawee County Prosecutor who will make a final decision regarding charges against the individual, according to police.

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