An arch at the State Library, Archives and Museum was vandalized late last week, leaving it lopsided. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

An arch at the State Library, Archives and Museum was vandalized late last week, leaving it lopsided. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

State museum art installation vandalized

The state will repair the arch, but it will take some time.

An art installation outside the State Library, Archives and Museum was vandalized late Thursday evening.

The museum is starting the process to replace the broken arch, said building operations manager Clint Farr.

“At about 9:24 p.m. last Thursday, an individual came from the west side, behind the (Andrew P. Kasheroff) building — the path between the hotel and museum,” Farr said in a phone interview. “The individual jumped and grabbed one of the archways.”

The arch, which stands south of the museum, had already been damaged somewhat before the Thursday incident, Farr said. The arch, when complete, is two uprights with beams that suggest a complete arch but don’t join at the apex. Farr said a man in his 20s or 30s is suspected of the vandalism.

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“It was already a weakened structure — it was hit by a snowplow a few winters ago,” Farr said. “He jumped, hung from it for a minute, and it kind of gave.”

The process to repair the damage done by the snowplow would have been completed soon, Farr said; repairing state property is a process with many steps.

“The thing is with every sort of state repair is you have to identify funding,” Farr said. “That takes a while. And you have to do a bidding process.”

Damage is clearly visible on an arch at the State Library, Archives and Museum which was vandalized late last week. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Damage is clearly visible on an arch at the State Library, Archives and Museum which was vandalized late last week. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Now, the SLAM will begin the process to repair the damaged arch.

“We have to get an insurance assessment. When it was bent, the estimated cost to repair was about $20,000,” Farr said. “I imagine it’ll be a little more than that.” The initial installation was done as part of the 1% for Art program, Farr said. The SLAM is familiar with handling vandalism to the art out front of the building, Farr said.

“We’ve had some other vandalism in the past. I think that just happens in public space, unfortunately,” Farr said. “It is a concern. It is annoying. It’s one of those things — sometimes having nice things is great, but they can be a target.”

The arch was designed by Walter Gordinier of Portland, Oregon, Farr said, and the plaza construction was coordinated by PCL Construction.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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