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Statue vandals strike again in Straub Park

Published February 28, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - Vandals were rough on park statues downtown and on Snell Isle over the weekend. They tipped one over in south Straub Park, breaking the top half off a female figure and leaving the bottom lying on the ground amid a flower bed.

On the Snell Isle Boulevard median, miscreants knocked down a half-dozen lions and griffins.

Officials aren't sure if the incidents, which took place about 2 miles apart, were part of a single spree or were separate episodes.

But the Straub Park statue also had drawn an attack the previous weekend, said Cliff Footlick, parks operations manager.

"They pushed it down and spray-painted it. We had just picked it up and then this weekend it was shoved hard," Footlick said.

"In the last month or so, it seems to be a new hobby," he said.

City crews plan to set the toppled figures upright and they are looking for the top half of the Straub Park statue. If it's found, workers will try to fix the statue by gluing the pieces back together, Footlick said.

It is one of more than 20 figures downtown, which for years have been fixtures on the waterfront parks. Snell Isle's statuary includes 38 panthers, 37 lions and five griffins, which are periodic targets of vandalism.

[Last modified February 28, 2007, 01:48:50]

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