Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Vandals hit
church statue

St. Anthony's statue is
broken and its head
has been stolen

By Nelson Daranciang

For the second time in a little more than a month, vandals have damaged a statue at an Oahu church.

The latest incident happened last week when vandals toppled the statue of the patron saint of St. Anthony's Church in Kailua, breaking the life-sized sculpture in three pieces and making off with the head.

A parishioner who went to the church early Friday to set up for morning Mass found the plaster-covered, marble statue on its side, below the granite pedestal to which it was attached with a steel rod.

No one has been arrested.

The church is putting together a committee to decide whether to repair or replace the statue.

"Without the head, we can't have anybody see if they can reconstruct the thing," said the Rev. Deacon Clarence DeCaires.

DeCaires estimates the value of the statue is $5,000. He said parishioners have offered to start a donation drive, and Barry Flanagan of the musical duo Hapa has offered to do a fund-raising concert to raise money for whatever action the committee decides.

In the first incident, on May 13, a man armed with a pipe smashed the statue at the St. Augustine Church in Waikiki.

No one has been arrested in that case, either. Police said the two cases do not appear to be related.

The Rev. Thomas Choo of St. Augustine said he plans to order a bronze statue to replace the one damaged last month. He said the church has so far collected $5,000 for the replacement.

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