A First Nation spindle whorl sculpture was vandalized and the spindle taken Friday night. Police and the city are hoping the spindle will be found or returned so the sculpture can be repaired.

A First Nation spindle whorl sculpture was vandalized and the spindle taken Friday night. Police and the city are hoping the spindle will be found or returned so the sculpture can be repaired.

Vandals damage downtown public art piece

NANAIMO – Spindle stolen from downtown First Nations public art fixture.

The city and Nanaimo RCMP are looking for the spindle from the Spindle Whorl sculpture that went missing from its location near the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on Friday.

It is estimated the piece was taken around 8 p.m. when the carved wooden spindle was forcibly removed, which caused significant damage to the rest of the First Nations sculpture that was carved by Joel Good in 2013 for the city’s Temporary Public Art program.

The piece was installed as a permanent exhibit at its current location in early May, but the spindle was only recently reattached to the whorl after it had some restoration work.

Chris Barfoot, city culture and heritage coordinator, said business owners and the public took pride in having the piece there because it “gave a real sense of place” to the area.

“Art has the power to make those positive changes and it’s unfortunate it also has the ability to draw negative attention,” Barfoot said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or knows the location of the missing spindle, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo, or leave a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.