Parks update // Citys biggest icon vandalized

The Spoonbridge and Cherry, a Minnesota icon in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, was vandalized on April 21 with the word Kony spray-painted in black in the middle of the spoon.

Joseph Kony is the leader of a rebel group in Uganda and a war criminal. He’s accused of abducting children and turning them into soldiers and sex slaves. 

An Invisible Children video went viral this spring, and the video makers encouraged people to go out and draw attention to Kony. But the Invisible Children Group also warned against vandalism.  

“Vandalism is lazy and hurts the cause, so your challenge is to keep it legal and go as big as you can,” the website kony2012.com warned. 

Ryan French, a spokesman for the Walker Art Museum, said Walker staff noticed about 10 people in the park in the early morning hours of April 21.

“We saw people entering the garden, and per our protocol, we warned them over our P.A. system that the garden is closed, please leave.”

Once police arrived and the park was cleared, French said staff was unaware of what had been done because it was dark out. The next morning, graffiti was found on the Spoonbridge sculpture as well as two smaller sculptures with a similar message. 

By the following Monday afternoon, April 23, Walker conservators had cleaned the sculptures. 

French said at press time that police were still investigating the incident. 

French said this wasn’t the first act of vandalism in the Sculpture Garden, but he said it was likely the most significant, as the vandals hit the most popular icon in the Twin Cities. 

The Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture was completed in 1988 by Claes Oldenburg. It was a gift from Fredrick Weisman to his parents, William and Mary. 

According to the U.S. Government, Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army has forced over 66,000 children to join the force. 

Linden Hills 

slated for new tennis courts

The cracked and crumbling tennis courts at Linden Hills Park are scheduled for replacement beginning mid-summer. The replacement includes the basketball court next to the tennis area. 

Linden Hills neighbors started fundraising last year to replace the courts, and they were aided by grants from Hennepin County and the United States Tennis Association, as well as capital funding from the Park Board. 

Construction is anticipated to last until fall, with the courts re-opening in spring 2013. 

Table tennis coming to Park Siding Park

The Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association has allocated $33,600 from the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program to make several improvements to Park Siding Park, a small park near the Kenilworth Train and in between Lake Cahoun and Cedar Lake. 

The improvements include two concrete table tennis tables, new garden beds, a new irrigation system, a new drinking fountain and tree plantings, according to a Park Board press release. 

Most of the work will be done this summer, but some will take longer due to the ongoing sewer line replacement in the area. 

Reach Nick Halter at 

nhalter@mnpubs.com.