A fountain sculpture in Crescent City dedicated to lives lost in a tsunami here has toppled under suspicious circumstances.
The Triplicate learned from a tip July 29 that someone was seen near the fountain when the sculpture came down. There appear to be video cameras in that area.
A look at the sculpture’s exposed underside revealed a broken support bar and two other badly bent supports.
The work of art, which stood in Tsunami Landing Plaza, has since been lifted out of its retaining pool by the Public Works Department.
Crescent City Police were not prepared to discuss the incident at press time.
The 8-foot-tall, 2,400-pound bronze art piece depicts an abstract scene of seagulls, fish and ocean waves. It was created by internationally known artist Bruno Groth, who died in 1992.
According to newspaper archives, the sculpture was commissioned by the Crescent City Council in 1965 at a cost of $10,000, with the financial backing of local businesses and organizations.
A plaque donated by the Crescent City Rotary Club lists the names of 11 people who were killed by a tsunami that struck the city on March 28, 1964.
“I’m heartbroken that this unique structure, this work of art, has been comprised,” Mayor pro tem Heidi Kime said.
Kime owns Pacific Northwest Physical Therapy, which sits next to the fountain in the plaza. She said that as a downtown business owner, she was horrified to see the conditions in the plaza.
Kime praised the diligence and care with which the Public Works crew rescued the downed statue, gently hoisting it with straps and loading it onto a flatbed truck.
She said the city has an exceptional metal fabrication team and she is hopeful the sculpture can be repaired.
Kime plans to research the memorial’s history and also look for solutions to its damage. “I will continue to reach out to people I know in the art world for their opinions as well,” she said.
Updates to this developing story will be in coming editions of The Triplicate.