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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vandalism suspected after Balazs sculpture found toppled in downtown Spokane

Oct. 28, 2022 Updated Mon., Oct. 31, 2022 at 10:14 a.m.

UPDATE: The Harold Balazs sculpture that was found damaged on Friday was removed for repairs on Monday morning, Spokane Arts Director Melissa Huggins said. Huggins said there are a number of unknown variables regarding the cost and repair of the sculpture. The time frame to reinstall the sculpture is also unknown, she said.

A metal sculpture by the late Harold Balazs was found Friday morning removed from its pedestal and lying on its side outside Chase Bank along Howard Street in downtown Spokane.

It appears to have been vandalized late Thursday night, said Emily Cameron, director of Downtown Spokane Partnership, which is helping to coordinate an effort to repair it.

The structure was lying several feet from its base on the other side of a building column. It did not appear to be otherwise defaced.

The abstract circular sculpture is owned by the building owner and was not publicly commissioned.

Spokane Arts has agreed to help restore the piece. Executive Director Melissa Huggins had not had a chance to examine the damage in person late Friday afternoon, but had seen photos. “It looks bad, but it’s repairable,” she said.

Balazs, a noted sculptor whose works can be found throughout Spokane and the Inland Northwest, died in 2017. His family has been notified of the incident, Huggins said.

Spokane Arts has repaired smaller Balazs pieces, but never one knocked off its pedestal, Huggins said. The organization is evaluating how best to remove the structure for repair without causing further damage.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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