Phalen neighborhood rallies around defaced sculptureby Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Several groups on St. Paul's east side are holding a ceremony tonight to respond to a hate crime committed in Phalen Park.
In July, a popular sculpture of an Asian woman at the park was defaced by vandals who spray-painted the artwork with "KKK," hate messages and an anti-Asian slur.
The vandalism occurred during the Dragon festival at Lake Phalen, an annual celebration of Asian-Pacific culture.
Christine Podas Larson id president of Public Art St. Paul, which owns the sculpture. Larson said tonight's ceremony is designed to help the community start to heal.
"I think it's important to all of us that we all, in our own way, hope, and if you want to pray, for the healing of the person who did this," Larson said.
The ceremony will also mark the beginning of the sculpture's restoration process, which Podas Larson estimates will take several weeks and cost $10,000 or more.