Vandals hit at least four of the 75 Herky the Hawk statues unveiled in the Iowa City/Coralville area on Monday. The concrete and fiberglass statues were decorated by local artists in a variety of ways to mark the 75th anniversary of the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium. U-of-I associate athletic director Rick Klatt, one of the organizers of Herky on Parade, details some of the damage.The “We Can Do It” Herky had the fake dollar bills ripped out of his fist and the “Rhinestone Cowgirl” had her hat stolen. “Herkyman” and “Cultural Herky” were also damaged. Klatt says it’s a shame vandals decided to target the colorful, creative symbols of the university, though he says it’s not really a surprise. Klatt says they knew they’d have “these issues” but didn’t expect them to crop up so quickly. He says it’s disappointing for the artists who put in many hours on the projects to have them defaced. He says it’s impractical to move the statues into buildings at night to protect them from potential vandals. The concrete bases alone weigh two-thousand pounds while the attached fiberglass statues vary from 100 pounds on up. They’re not meant to be moved and are “public art” that’s meant to be outside. Klatt says they’re designed to be outdoors during thunderstorms and snowstorms — none of that should bother the statues, he says, but vandals will. Klatt says plans won’t change and the Herkys will remain on display through the football season into November.
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