Pat Chu Foon's iconic sculpture 'Spirit of Hope' has been painted over, as seen in this photo taken by Nicholas Laughlin.
The sculpture, located at the intersection of Tragarete Road, Dundonald and Richmond Streets, has been partially coated over in what Laughlin describes as a "new coat of hospital-wall green".
"It tells me how unaware we are, as citizens, of the civic spaces we live and work in, and how irresponsibly we behave towards them. It tells me how little respect we have for the work of our artists and thinkers, and how eagerly the powers-that-be package that work in more palatable forms. It tells me we're far too fond of quick, superficial solutions to our problems," Laughlin writes on his blog which broke the news earlier today.
It is bad enough that the sculpture has been painted over, but worse that whoever did this did not even finish the job. The defaced piece is left wallowing in the ignominy of its own bizarre mutation.
The late Chu Foon once said of his art:
"I am concerned with man's existence in time and space-time exists because of man's awareness of his existence. As a result, space becomes a reality with which he can refer to related images and concepts within the infinite plane. My paintings deal mainly with spiritual elements - outside universal space and its equilibrium with inner space in which I try to relate concepts resulting from mind-space images which are inherent or spiritually perceived. My sculptures are an extension of my paintings, occupying an area of positive space a point of reference within space which we all share in relation to an infinite."
What horror, then, he would experience were he alive today to see his work given this treatment which relegates it to nothing but a decorative thing at the heart of an indifferent Capital.