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Downtown rabbit statue literally defaced by vandals

Removal of ‘Brick Rabbit’ very likely
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Brick Rabbit statue, near the intersection of 49th Avenue and 48th Street, in downtown Red Deer, recently sustained significant damage when it was vandalized. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer’s big, brick bunny statue, which is now missing part of its face due to vandalism, will likely be removed, says the city.

About a dozen bricks have been broken away near the bunny’s ceramic eyes, which are also damaged.

The Brick Rabbit, installed in 2005 near the intersection of 49th Avenue and 48th Street, is across the street from the Sorensen Station Transit Terminal and Parkade.

Artists Brian McArthur and Dawn Detarando created the two-metre tall rabbit “to create conversation and a sense of playfulness on Alexander Way” according to the statue’s plaque.

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Bobby-Jo Stannard, the city’s superintendent of community development, said there’s been some damage to the statue over a period of months, with the most significant damage in the last couple of weeks.

“What we’ve been doing is just trying to ensure there isn’t any loose bricks in the area. We will be working through a process of most likely removing the art item this summer with the artists,” Stannard said.

She said the city did look at repairing the statue this spring, but at this point, the artists recommend that it be removed.

“It’s not unusual for us to take one out of the rotation every once in a while when there is either damage, or it’s just been in service for too long. It’s part of an ongoing process, but it is disappointing to see the vandalism for sure.”

She said the city’s public art commission will consider why it was put there in the first place if another art piece is needed in that location, or if there’s a better spot so vandalism doesn’t happen again.

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The city has maintenance and repair schedules for public art.

Stannard said there haven’t been any recent reports of damage to other public art in the city.

“Over time we always have some that pop up. We have quite an extensive public art collection that spans the limits of the city so we don’t always know about it.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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