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EDITORIAL: Protect our unique artistic treasures in Colorado Springs

By: THE GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD
October 2, 2017 Updated: October 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm
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Many cities have a public art program and value sculptures, statues, artwork that enhance a city's atmosphere. Some towns are known for their public art displays. Chicago's iconic Picasso - a 50-foot Cubist sculpture is now a beloved city landmark where children climb and play. Chicago's most popular public art installation is Cloud Gate (also known as "the Bean"), whose stainless steel curves are an unforgettable sight.

Philadelphia has murals beside major roadways in unexpected corners. New York's street art is legendary. A city's community art can define and enhance it. Here in Colorado Springs we have beautiful scenery, and downtown's art and landscaping complement our mountains to the west.

This is why when vandals destroy our city's artwork it is essential we take the destruction seriously and if possible, apprehend the offenders. Last week, security camera footage of a man who vandalized local artist Kim Polomka's downtown sculpture "Greenback Cutthroat Trout" led to an arrest. The $500 sculpture is part of Downtown Ventures' ArtSpot program. The sculpture has been repaired and reinstalled.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time someone decided to deprive us all of an artistic treasure. Since June 2016, about $14,000 worth of damage has been inflicted upon downtown's unique sculptures, the most recent of which was the theft of the miniature metal sculpture of two camels touching noses in Scottie Burgess' "Civic Treasures," part of last year's Art on the Streets exhibit. The kissing camels, symbolizing the renowned rock formation at Garden of the Gods, are still missing. The Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs plans to replace it.

This is unacceptable in a city that supposedly wants to be great. When someone trashes or steals any part of our city, that's an affront to us all. Great cities value their environments and how their city looks.

So if you see an act of destruction of property, public or private, on our city's streets report it. Don't put yourself at risk, but report it. Let's all work to preserve our city's art, buildings and special treasures.

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