Ottawa Chinatown: Street art vandalized again, BIA says

The Chinatown BIA says its street sculptures on Somerset Street have once again been vandalized.

The BIA posted surveillance video on social media showing people pushing and kicking down two yellow deer statues. The video is timestamped at 10:25 p.m. Oct. 8.

The BIA says a police report has been filed.

“It’s disheartening when a few thoughtless actions tarnish the experience for everyone,” the BIA said.

Chinatown BIA executive director Yukang Li said this kind of vandalism has been an ongoing problem.

“My heart was broken when I first saw it this is a repeated vandalism that has been happening in Chinatown,” says Li. “The whole project was completed in March and since then we have been seeing damages to these selfie-stations which was not easy to bring into Chinatown.”

Over the summer, people were caught on camera stealing two dinosaur statues from Chinatown and later returning them in the middle of the night. It was just one case of many, as other statues in the neighbourhood had been damaged.

The artwork was installed in February and cost $200,000, BIA officials said in July. It was funded through government grants as part of a revitalization effort.

“The planning started in November last year and we are a very small BIA and it did take a lot of effort to get the funding in the first place,” says Li. “And then the post-pandemic international shipping was expensive, the labour shortage, these are the obstacles that we had to overcome to make this happen to our community.”

There are at least eight groups of statues placed along Somerset Street between Bronson Avenue and Preston Street. They range from iconic Chinese pandas to popular characters drawing from Asian culture.

“We wanted something nice for the community to bring people in, to make this community more attractive to both residents and visitors but at this stage we just don’t have enough resources to replace those damaged or stolen statues,” said Li.

“I just don’t understand why people would damage them because, first off, it’s something very nice for the community that everybody can enjoy and, secondly, it does no good for anybody if you damage it or if you steal it because it does not look good in your backyard.”

–With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Tyler Fleming.

Originally Appeared Here

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