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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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