Vandals Target 18 Chicago Statues

The public sculpture installation “Borders” features 26 life-size statues that sit in a garden on the northwest corner of Jackson and South Michigan Avenue

Graffiti taggers have vandalized 18 iconic statues in Chicago’s Grant Park.

The public sculpture installation “Borders,” which features 26 life-size statues by renowned Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, sits in a garden on the northwest corner of Jackson and South Michigan Avenue.

Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy, said he noticed Saturday morning that 18 of the statues were tagged using two different signatures.

He believes the Michigan Avenue statues were vandalized late Friday or early Saturday and said he is working with police on the issue.

Installed in August 2013, the statues were supposed to be returned to the artist this spring; however, their residency was extended until October due to their popularity.

O’Neill said people, particularly children, enjoy posing with the statues for pictures.

This is the first time they have been vandalized, O’Neill said. He added that he notified the artist of the vandalism, and said she was disappointed to hear the news.

The faceless, androgynous statues, painted in aluminum or iron, were designed to mirror each other and “allow park visitors to engage with them by crossing the invisible borders they create,” according to the Chicago Park District.

O’Neill said he reached out to the Chicago Park District to have the statues cleaned, but worries about future incidents.

“I’m going to get to the bottom of this,” he said.

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