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Hebru Brantley statues inspired by Tuskegee Airmen damaged

Damage done statue by Hebru Brantley Grant Park.

Damage done to a statue by Hebru Brantley in Grant Park.

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Updated: August 22, 2014 6:22AM



Mindy Ouyang has strong words for whoever damaged the colorful characters keeping watch on Lake Shore Drive just north of the Field Museum.

“Shame on them,” Ouyang said.

Ouyang made the comment while visiting “The Watch” by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley — a collection of statues featuring his signature Fly Boys and Fly Girls, who were inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen.

The Chicago Park District discovered Sunday morning that the statues had been vandalized, spokeswoman Michele Lemons said.

“We believe that the damage or the act occurred some time late [Saturday] night, and the Chicago Park District is investigating the incident and is looking to repair the damaged art work,” she said.

Brantley couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday about the damage to his red, yellow, blue, green and black statues lined up to represent “soldiers, people that are standing up to [things like] violence and hunger.”

Some of the statues suffered only minor cracks, but whole chunks of others had been ripped away. The hands of a blue Fly Boy rested at his feet Sunday.

Ouyang, who said she lives nearby, said people should appreciate Chicago’s parks and remember they belong to everybody.

“Chicago’s beautiful,” she said.

Visitors to the city also were disappointed.

“It’s unfortunate that people just can’t respect other people’s art, even if they don’t like it,” said Melanie Eve Barocas, a visitor from Connecticut. “It’s really unfortunate.”

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SeidelContent



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