7 arrested in vandalism of Chicago’s ‘Bean,’ memorial garden

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CHICAGO (AP) — Charges were pending Tuesday against seven people suspected of spray-painting graffiti on two downtown Chicago landmarks including the popular giant metallic sculpture known as “The Bean,” police said.

The sculpture in Millennium Park was vandalized late Monday and the suspects were arrested a short time later, Chicago police said. The sculpture’s stainless-steel reflective surface was marked with “35th Crew” in silver lettering near the bottom along with other markings.

Memorial walls in the Cancer Survivors’ Garden in nearby Maggie Daley Park also were vandalized.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed outrage.

“Look, there are some things that should be sacred. Millennium Park and the Bean have been an important, iconic part of who we are as Chicago from the time that that park opened,” she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “It is unbelievably unacceptable for people to be defacing something like that.”

Lightfoot said graffiti and gang markings “spread fear in the hearts of people” and shouldn’t be tolerated. Crews were in the process of removing the graffiti, according to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor is formally known as “Cloud Gate” and weighs 110 tons (100 metric tons). It is 66-feet (20-meters) long and sits in a plaza just off Michigan Avenue.

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