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Popular UNM statues defaced, again

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One or more vandals appear to have defaced several bronze statues in the middle of one the University of New Mexico’s busiest walkways between late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, say UNM officials.
“Modern Art” by Betty Sabo is an art exhibit that features several bronze human sculptures near the Student Union Building. One statue sits on a curb as though mulling an impending essay. Another two figures appear to be engaged in a conversation. In the middle of these statues is an abstract stainless steel tower constructed by Sabo’s brother Gary Beals. You can find out more about the statues here.
These bronze figures are a common sight for students, employees and visitors traversing Cornell Mall since the university installed the exhibit in 2004. But on Thursday morning, purple splotches marred several of the bronze figures.
By 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the physical plant had removed the graffiti, said Willie West, the manager of grounds and landscaping.
West also said many people target “Modern Art.”
“Hats, bras, clothing, bottles, cans, cigarettes, cigars, paint, sunglasses and strategically placed hand prints are just a few of the ‘enhancements’ that (Physical Plant Department) staff have had to address on these statues, usually on a weekly or more basis.” West said.
He said the physical plant staff is always cleaning graffiti. The department targets racist, vulgar or offensive material first, and all other types of graffiti comes next.
West said keeping up with graffiti costs the physical plant about $30,000 a year.
“The UNM Police Department is well aware of the ongoing graffiti issues we face, and do the best job they can in deterring this type of crime and protecting the property of the University of New Mexico,” West said.

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