The mountain race sculpture made out of old growth cedar located at the intersection coming into Williams Lake has been vandalized.
On Monday afternoon, the sculpture’s carver Ken Sheen was driving by and noticed the rider’s left arm had been severed.
He immediately went into city hall to alert of the damage.
“That statue was in beautiful shape,” Sheen told the Tribune. “It’s been there for three years and hadn’t been touched until somebody obviously got up there and smashed it. I see that happening and I’m really sad.”
Sheen has created several sculptures around the city, and said every one of them has been vandalized.
“I’m so upset. People say it’s made of wood and easy to break, but it wouldn’t have mattered if it was made out of cement or any other medium — somebody would have figured out a way to bust something off of it. It’s the attitude of a few people and I’m so sick of it. It makes me see red. I don’t know what to say. Those sculptures are some of the first things people see when they come into Williams Lake. What are they going to think if they see they are vandalized?”
Sheen had plans to create more scenes to bring back the western heritage of the area, but hasn’t created any new sculptures since 2009. He used to live at Riske Creek and carved out there, but now has a gallery at the old Cariboo Castle between Williams Lake and Quesnel.
Wednesday morning the city confirmed it will repair the mountain rider, along with the bull rider, adding vandalism costs the city and private citizens, and is not acceptable.
Other statues carved by Sheen have been vandalized — and one stolen — in recent years. In December 2009, the Cow Boss statue at the Corner of Eighth Avenue and Oliver Street was vandalized — someone had pried off the carved bull head feature and part of the Cow Boss’s boot off. Then, in January 2010, the bear statue in front of the Cariboo Dental Clinic on First Avenue was vandalized. In that incident, someone had sawed off one of the bear’s claw. Both of those statues were repaired shortly after.
And in August 2010, a beaver mascot sculpture, carved by Sheen and painted by Dwayne Davis, was stolen from the sports bar in Boston Pizza.
Tribune file photos
Top, Kevin Goldfuss, director of municipal services for the city, in December 2009 shows where a vandal and thief pried off the wooden bull skull and partial boot from the Cow Boss statue near Stampede Park.
Middle, Susan Van Soest from the Cariboo Dental Clinic stands next to the carved bear in January 2010 after its claw was sawed off and stolen.
Bottom, Crosby, a mascot beaver carved by Ken Sheen and painted by Dwayne Davis, was stolen from Boston Pizza in August 2010.