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Graffiti Vandals Tag Newly Restored Statue In Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- A San Francisco statue was found covered in graffiti just weeks after undergoing a $300,000 restoration.

Just four weeks ago the city unveiled the newly restored William McKinley Monument in Golden Gate Park restoration. It only lasted about two weeks.

"We had hoped that the project we were doing would stave off the vandalism for a little while," said Allison Cummings of the SF Arts Commission. "We weren't anticipating it happening this quickly - or this bad."

So, the very same experts that spent much of the summer restoring the McKinley Monument were back out on Tuesday, scrubbing away.

"We do use specialists," said Cummings. "This is a historic monument and we want to treat it as such."

And the bill?

"Vandalism of this magnitude costs us anywhere between $3000-to-$5000 in abatement."

So, it costs $15-to-$20,000 to keep the statue graffiti-free on a good year. On a bad year, that figure could climb as high as $40,000.

Citywide, San Francisco's graffiti costs about 20 million dollars per year.

Cummings feels certain the vandals will strike again.

"We'll re-coat it and prepare for the next incident," said Cummings.

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