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Controversial downtown Athens artwork vandalized


By Joe Johnson

A controversial three-dimensional artwork in downtown Athens was reported to have been vandalized over the weekend.

The 14-piece artwork includes blue pipes that snake along A four-block section of East Clayton Street. It was unveiled on Dec. 8 as a part of the East Clayton Street Improvements Project.

On Saturday, Athens-Clarke County Public Art Coordinator Tatiana Veneruso reported to police that a section of the blue pipe had been cut and removed from where it overlapped a bench at East Clayton Street and College Avenue.

Athens-Clarke police determined that someone used a power saw to remove the section of pipe.

“The edges were jagged and looked like he had a hard time keeping the blade on the edge,” the police report notes. “The other side was halfway cut and pushed back and forth several times until it broke off.”

The artwork is by Eric Leshinsky, an artist based in Annapolis, MD, and pieces of it wend their way down East Clayton in a variety of sizes and positions from North Thomas Street to North Lumpkin Street.

After “Frequency” was installed, it drew criticism and derision from people on social media who called the $55,000 project ugly, a waste of money, and a hazard to pedestrians.

Vandalism and theft of the section of the artwork was estimated to have occurred between midnight and 2 p.m. Friday, according to the police report, which noted that the downtown video surveillance system did not have a camera in the right position to record the incident.

“I plan to continue to observe cameras for anyone carrying a large blue metal piece,” an officer wrote in the report.













































Thomas Street to Lumpkin Street.

After “Frequency” was installed, it drew criticism and derision from people on social media who called the $55,000 project ugly, a waste of money, and a hazard to pedestrians.


Vandalism and theft of the section of artwork was estimated to have occurred between midnight and 2 p.m. Friday, according to the police report, which noted that the downtown video surveillance system did not have a camera in the right position to record the incident.

“I plan to continue to observe cameras for anyone carrying a large blue metal piece,” an officer wrote in the report.

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6 Comments


Liz Krickel
Liz Krickel
Dec 25, 2022

I like it

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Albert Osteen
Albert Osteen
Dec 21, 2022

Why don't they just do a statue of Ronald McDonald, Michael Jackson, Obama, Herschel, and Uga in a classy outfit: Oakleys with croakies, Performance Fishing Gear shirt, Chubbies khaki shorts, and boat shoes.

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Unknown member
Dec 21, 2022
  1. This is not art.

  2. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ATHENS NATIVE THAT GOT THE UFCKING CONTRACT!

  3. Whoever did this is a ufcking hero.


It might make sense at a google office, it's very much on brand for them which is to say it's bland, unimaginative, uninspired, copy paste bullshit. It is in no way right for Athens Georgia, it in no way represents Athens, GA. A city that is, was and hopefully always will be unique. A city that is legendary for it's art and music.


Once again, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ATHENS NATIVE THAT WAS PICKED! ALL ART INSTALATIONS IN ATHENS SHOULD BE CREATED BY ATHENIANS! Not some third rate jackass from MD who had probably never spent…


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And we are supposed to be surprised that someone vandalized the "blue pipe." For goodness sake this guy from Annapolis did not even use the real colors of Athens...Red and Black! I guess now we have to pay the pipe creator more money to come repair a piece of pipe! Surely a local plumber can do that job...😎

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shirebourne
shirebourne
Dec 21, 2022

I’m aghast that ACC has thrown away such an amount of money on a squiggly blue piece of pipe. That money could have been put to a much better use. But, then it’s ACC. And they have an attitude that is like ”well it’s not our money so let’s do it”. I‘m so glad that I moved away from Athens because they are so wasteful with the property tax money they’ve collected from hard working people

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Unknown member
Dec 23, 2022
Replying to

Seriously. Besides the fact that it's not really art, it's unimaginative, uninspired, bland and is in no way Athenian... As a welder I can tell you with certainty that they spent no more than a few days creating these installations from start to finish. Paint drying and all.

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