Monday, June 14, 2004

PANDAMANIA: The Vandals Strike

This was bound to happen. Vandals have targeted the capital city's newest public art project, Pandamania. The Washington Post reports that pandas from downtown to Cleveland Park have been defaced or damaged. There's even a tape of the evildoers attacking a beloved panda in Foggy Bottom.

From The Washington Post's Debbi Wilgoren:
A security camera at the World Wildlife Fund headquarters in Foggy Bottom captured a young man, beer in hand, prying a piece off the "For a Living Planet" panda at 2 a.m. one Saturday. ...

The damage captured on the World Wildlife Fund videotape appears accidental, said artist David Ciommo, who created the panda affected and has seen the tape.

It shows a young woman hugging the sculpture, while a man who is with her jabs at a piece on the base with his toe. When the piece comes loose, the woman runs. The man follows -- then returns, grabs the dislodged section, and disappears.

Does that exactly sound like malicious intent? That description sounds like it could have been a drunken female intern in George Washington University summer housing who hugged the jolly panda and the guy with her accidentally broke off a piece, ran off and then decided to come back and take the broken piece as so it wasn't in the sidewalk.

"Pandas Defaced, Artists Devastated" [The Washington Post]


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