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story.lead_photo.caption A sign greets visitors to Jefferson City's Community Neighborhood Park. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

One of the two new sculptures in Community Park was vandalized twice.

The sculpture, installed in June and titled Adjacent, features two figures facing each other. It is the first in a sculpture series focused on Jefferson City's Black community and The Foot District.

Cultural arts specialist Leann Porrello said one figure was vandalized in September with "I love you" carved into the metal of the sculpture.

She said the second figure was vandalized on Halloween — again with words carved into it, but this time saying "f—- you period."

"We looked at the cameras, and we see movement down there. But basically (with) our cameras for the park, that strip of the greenway is still very dark," Porrello said. "You can see people down there, but not clear enough to make out faces. So there was no determining who did it for sure."

She said the department suspects the same person is responsible for both incidents based on the handwriting, but can't know for sure.

Porrello said the artist removed Adjacent on Friday to make repairs.

"We went ahead and talked to the artist, talk to our maintenance guys, about repairing them," she said. "We felt like it was going to be easiest and quickest for the artist to do it again he said about two weeks."

She said the second sculpture, Endure, hasn't been disturbed since its installation Oct. 21.

The plan, Porrello said, is to install an additional camera more focused on the art before Adjacent goes back into its spot.

"The security cameras that are down there really focus on the playground and the pavilion," she said.

The sculpture series will include at least seven pieces along the greenway in Community Park.

Porrello said the department also plans to put more lighting in the area, but that won't be done immediately because she's not sure where all the sculptures will go.

"As we add more sculptures, more lighting will be added down the path," she said. "But we've already ordered the cameras and they'll be installed before we accept the sculpture back down there."

Cameras, lighting and placing art in high traffic areas decrease the chances of vandalism, Porrello said.

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