TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The repeated vandalism of a historic park near downtown Tucson has citizens and the artist who restores it, calling for increased security.
Tucson artist, Greg Schoon, has been restoring sculptor, Alex Lucero’s, work at the Garden of Gethsemane for years.
“It’s endless,” said Schoon as he showed KOLD News 13 around the small park off of the Santa Cruz River, just north of Congress Street. “I have restored or repaired many of these statues many times over. I have worked on a statue of Jesus here at least six times. Something needs to be done.”
The park was originally designed and built by Sculptor, Alex Lucero, before being further restored by the Knights of Columbus in the 80s and several more times since then. On Sunday night, March 10 vandals defaced several statues, including severing the head off of Judas at the Last Supper.
“People snap off fingers and toes,” said Schoon, who has been commissioned to design art projects all over Tucson. “I’d fix a hand, a couple of days later it would be broken again, so I just stopped. Until something was resolved I was going to let them break all of the hands and make all new hands.”
Ward 1 councilwoman, Regina Romero, says the park is a concern to her and her constituents.
“There’s the idea of putting cameras up, but that is one of many possibilities we are looking at,” said Romero. The city is also considering a move to sell the park to a private owner, or relocate the statues permanently.
Romero is set to meet with neighbors and officials with the Menlo Park Neighborhood Association on Thursday, March 14 to listen and possibly come to a solution.
“We need to make a decision where we can reach as much consensus as we possibly can,” said Romero.
“It is time,” said Schoon when asked if security cameras should be installed. “It would be a deterrent for some, but for people who are intent on being destructive, it won’t matter, but it will help.”