Art sculpture vandalized in Tahoe

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 9:44 AM PDT
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) - The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is looking for the man that destroyed an art sculpture outside Cowork Tahoe.

“I was devastated,” said Cowork founder David Orr. “You know, a lot of hard work went into pulling the permits to get this art work out front, and show off some of our local artists in the very visible way. You know, this was really meant to be a gift to the community.”

It happened around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 25th. In the cell phone video recorded by a witness, the suspect appeared to try and ride the “turning wood” art piece, but his weight caused it to collapse.

“I’m just disappointed in people’s behavior,” said Malcolm Tibbetts, the artist behind the sculpture. “He spins the first one, and it spins fine. Then he breaks the second one, and instead of just leaving he goes over and spins the third one.”

It was part of a larger project Tibbetts created back in 2017; taking him thousands of hours to finish. It’s one of three pieces he had loaned to Cowork Tahoe, to display outside the building on Harrison Avenue.

“When that was damaged, it was really an attack on the community,” added Tibbetts. “I mean sure, I own the pieces, but it was part of the town. It was part of our community.”

Many in the community have reached out, offering to help fund a replacement. In the meantime they’re hoping somebody recognizes the suspect and contacts South Lake Tahoe Police.

“When you’re a tourist and you’re up here on vacation and having fun with your buddies, you know you still have to be respectful to the environment that’s here,” added Orr.

The suspect is described as a white man in his late 20′s or early 30′s, about 5-foot-9 inches tall, and 210-pounds. He was wearing a blue and white tie-dye shirt.

If you have any information, contact SLTPD at 530-542-6100.

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