Central Park landmark vandalized

February 2, 2009 4:36:57 PM PST
A beloved artistic landmark in Central Park has become the target of vandals.Four young men are charged with spray-painting the walls and pillars of the recently refurbished Bethesda Terrace Arcade. And it appears some of the damage will be very difficult to repair.

Vandals damaged many of the colorful panels and sandstone columns throughout the Bethesda Arcade. It creates difficult and expensive work for Douglas Blonsky, the head of the Central Park Conservancy.

A 20-year-old and three teenagers are being charged with the graffiti, with damages estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars. And that's in addition to the difficult restoration work on the granite and marble panels.

It will be even more difficult to restore the sandstone columns.

The city and the Conservancy spent millions refurbishing the Bethesda Plaza, Arcade and Fountain. It's designers call it the "heart of the park." Many area residents see the incident as troubling and they don't want it to happen again.

It will take weeks to delicately remove all of the paint and it will cost a lot of money. And even then, the Conservancy believes there will always be some shadow of this unwarranted damage.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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