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Mayor to Hatched Baby artist: Some ‘thought so little of his generosity that they sought to destroy his art’

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds spoke out Wednesday on the recent vandalism to the Hatched Baby statue that sat outside City Hall.

Police are still looking for suspects who damaged the statue sometime early Sunday morning. The face was removed and taken away. It was found in a yard at a King St. residence Monday morning.

RELATED: Arts Board comments on sculpture vandalism

Reynolds said that due to the damage to the sculpture, it can't be displayed until repairs are made.

The mayor's statement also spoke about the concept behind the artwork, artist, and art in a public venue.

Recently, a sculpture on city property was damaged by, as of yet, unknown individuals. “Hatched Baby” has been on loan to the City of La Crosse from noted artist Wolfgang Auer, from La Crosse’s sister city of Friedberg, Germany. The sculpture was inspired by the birth of his own daughter. “Hatched Baby” has been damaged to the point where further display will not be possible until the sculpture has been suitably repaired.

This act of vandalism and disregard has forced me to inform a gifted artist that there are people in our community who thought so little of his generosity that they sought to destroy his art. “Hatched Baby” may not have been the favorite of everyone in our community, but neither is any art meant for the public square. As others have said in the past, art in some ways is meant to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Art is also meant to provoke thought and
wonder and coerce our imagination into growth.

Our police officers will continue their search for the vandals of Mr. Auer’s sculpture. I hope to have information about the possibility of repairs to the sculpture very soon.

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