Officials say the artwork was damaged in an attempted theft incident sometime last week.
“This site is an important gathering place for our diverse communities in SLC and symbolizes democracy, world peace, arts, and cultural heritage,” park officials say.
The damaged sculpture is seen ripped and dislodged from its base on a concrete platform.
Officials say the park will be temporarily removing a number of artworks in “the interest of protecting our shared public treasures.” During this time, repairs will be made and officials will “evaluate options” to better protect and preserve the artworks in the future.
This was not the first time the garden has been vandalized. In Oct. 2021, a visitor found hateful messages spray-painted inside the Japanese Tea Garden Area. The messages were directed toward the Asian-American community.
Located on the bank of the Jordan River, the garden was founded as a “citizenship project and as a lesson in peace and understanding between nations.” The garden features sections decorated by 28 different countries spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The natural displays are meant to symbolize the “true spirit of democracy and world peace, history, literature, and many lands’ cultural heritage.”
Police are asking anyone who may know information about the vandalism to contact police at (801) 799-3000 and reference case number 22-39207.