The Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial was one of 16 public art works damaged when thousands of protesters swarmed Boston Common on Sunday night.
A $3-million dollar restoration project for the sculpture dedicated to the African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War was granted clearance just last week. The outbreak of the coronavirus had delayed the project.
The conservator’s recent prep work protected the front of the bronze relief with plywood, but its granite backside was vandalized with four-letter words and phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Police are Pigs.”
“This monument is considered one of the nation’s greatest pieces of public art and the greatest piece to come out of the Civil War,” said Liz Vizza, executive director of the Friends of the Public Garden, “It was, amazingly enough, dedicated 123 years ago on May 31st – the day it was defaced.”