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Editorial: Art vandals paint Santa Fe with a negative brush

When it comes to what differentiates Chicago from Santa Fe, a pop culture stereotype might pit a gritty urban crime drama against a laid-back appreciation for art.

And they would have that backward.

Because an amazing tonal sculpture by famed Italian artist and designer Harry Bertoia survived three decades in the Windy City without any damage.

It didn’t make it a week in the City Different.

Vandals bent some of the 112 copper and brass sound-making rods in “Untitled (Monumental Sonambient)” over the weekend. The nearly $1 million sculpture had been installed a week ago Sunday in a grassy area outside the Peyton Wright Gallery in downtown Santa Fe.

This senseless destruction of art comes on the heels of someone painting graffiti on and chopping the tail off the well-known metal donkey statue that has stood at one end of Santa Fe’s Burro Alley for more than two decades. That repair cost taxpayers almost $4k.


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But combined with the bent rods the art vandalism has cost Santa Fe’s reputation as a place where art is nurtured and cherished a lot more.

In fact, a cynic might say it is blowing it away.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.