Vandalism in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to cost $20,000, not including damaged statues

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Friday’s vandalism in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park will cost the city $20,000, which includes overtime and materials for repair.

It doesn’t include damage to the statues themselves, that cost will be determined by an art commission.

For now, the statues that were torn down remain in storage.

San Francisco police say Sunday night there was a threat to statues at the Legion of Honor and patrols were boosted in that area.  

They say they will continue to be alert for threats to city monuments and will be increasing passing calls to those areas.

Their investigation into the vandalism Friday, which included the toppling of the statues in Golden Gate Park. 

Francis Scott Key who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner but was also a slave owner, and Ulysses Grant, president, and leader of the union army, who also owned a slave he later freed, and St. Junipero Serra who is accused of enslaving Native Americans to build the California missions. 

On Thursday, the city removed the statue of Christopher Columbus in order to subvert threats to pull it down.

On Monday, most of the graffiti and damage in Golden Gate Park have been painted over or washed away but the pedestals they stood on are still empty.  

Mayor London Breed has said she understands the pain in this county rooted in our history of slavery and oppression but denounced the vandalism, pointing out the cost to clean it up takes funding away that could be going to support underfunded communities.

She has ordered a review of public art saying who and what we honor can and should reflect our values. 

Debra Walker is a member of the Arts Commission. She says while she doesn’t condone vandalism.

“I totally understand people having no more tolerance and untrue history, an incomplete history. One of the things that I know is this mayor believes in there is power in art there is power in our cultural storytelling and she’s asked the human rights commission and the arts commission to evaluate and to make sure we are telling our two-story and including all folks you need to be part of that history it’s pushed I think the bureaucracy into taking action,” Walker said. 

The details of how and when this review of public art will unfold has yet to be released but will likely be discussed at the arts commission next virtual public meeting next month.

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