MINNEAPOLIS -- The memorial to sexual assault survivors in Boom Island Park has been vandalized for the second time in five months.
According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, they were alerted to the damage done to the mosaic tiles and granite of the memorial on Monday afternoon.
"Park police are investigating and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Park Police Department through 612-230-6550," said the MPRB in a statement.
The artist behind the murals, Lori Greene, says the installation is meant to be a sacred space.
"Well as a survivor myself…art is what has helped heal me and kept me going all my life," Greene said. "It's five panels that tell a linear story of healing. Really, I cut, hand cut, every single piece in the mural. In all of them. And they're like a prayer, a prayer of healing. There's just layer upon layer upon layer of trauma that we're trying to heal."
According to the MPRB board, the memorial's mosaic tiles, granite and donor pavers were damaged in mid-May. Repairs to the mosaic tiles and granite were completed this summer and work was still in progress on repairing the donor pavers when the second incident of vandalism occurred.
Greene says she wasn't surprised to hear the murals had been defaced, at least, the first time.
However, the repeated damage and nature of it in a short amount of time has left her feeling "disturbed and nauseated."
"We were expecting at some point we'd have some vandalism, but we thought it would be spray paint. And this is far worse. It certainly feels racially motivated and it certainly…to attack a memorial to honor survivors of a horrible trauma, that's not normal," Greene said.
A GoFundMe has been established to repair the murals.
Greene hopes better security will eliminate the need to make repairs a third time.
"We have put out a request for getting a camera put up and I hope that that's going to happen. I don't know," she said.
In a statement, the MPRB said, "The MPRB is working with the memorial organizer and artist on repairs and the MPRB will be discussing options with the memorial organizer for additional protection of the memorial."
Greene believes more visitors from the community will also help protect the memorial.
"I think coming to visit it is really important. The more that are there to see it, recognize it, I think that always helps. Then it also feels more protected," she said. "Even if you're not a survivor of sexual violence, that if you've experienced some other form of trauma, I feel like most people can relate to what it's telling you."
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