National museum art installation vandalized

An art installation outside the state library, archives and museum was vandalized Thursday evening.

The museum is beginning the process of replacing the broken arch, building operations manager Clint Farr said.

“At approximately 9:24 p.m. last Thursday, an individual came from the west side, behind the (Andrew P. Kasheroff) building — the path between the hotel and the museum,” Farr said in a phone interview. “The individual jumped out and grabbed one of the arches.”

The arch, which stands to the south of the museum, had already been somewhat damaged prior to Thursday’s incident, Farr said. The arch, when completed, is made up of two uprights with beams that suggest a full arch but do not meet at the top. Farr said a man in his 20s or 30s is suspected of vandalism.

“It was already a weakened structure – it was hit by a snow plow a few winters ago,” Farr said. “He jumped, hung on for a minute, and it kind of gave way.”

The process of repairing the damage caused by the plow would have been completed soon, Farr said; repairing state property is a process with many steps.

“The problem is, with every type of state repair, you have to identify the funding,” Farr said. ” That takes time. And you have to do a bidding process.

The damage is clearly visible on an archway in the State Library, Archives and Museum that was vandalized late last week. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Now the SLAM will begin the process of repairing the damaged arch.

“We need to get an insurance appraisal. When it was bent, the estimated repair cost was around $20,000,” Farr said. “I imagine it will be a bit more than that.” The initial installation was done as part of the 1% for Art program, Farr said. SLAM is used to dealing with vandalism of art in front of the building, Farr said.

“We have had other acts of vandalism in the past. I think that only happens in the public space, unfortunately,” Farr said. “It is a concern. It’s boring. It’s one of those things – sometimes having nice things is good, but they can be a target.

The arch was designed by Walter Gordinier of Portland, Oregon, Farr said, and construction of the plaza was coordinated by PCL Construction.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or [email protected]

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