Repair on damaged eyeball sculpture has begun

Dallas, Texas – Some protestors in Texas lashed out after the death of George Floyd and nearby property and spaces fell victim to their wrath — including a large sculpture of an eyeball in downtown Dallas. The original artwork is now in the process of being repaired after vandals tagged it with graffiti.

The 30-foot-high sculpture that has caught the attention of passersby since it was installed in 2013 was tagged with graffiti on May 29. The message “NOW UC US,” along with Floyd’s initials and his words, “I can’t breathe,” were spray-painted on the sculpture.

Floyd, a Houstonian, died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee against the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly 9 minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked mass demonstrations around the world.

Sculptor Tony Tasset told The Dallas Morning News that a lot of the graffiti has already been cleaned from the eyeball he created, but that there are some chips and cracks that will also be repaired. He said the repairs will cost “north of $100,000.”

“It feels terrible, of course, to have your work damaged. But I’m supportive of Black Lives Matter. I’m sympathetic not to the vandalism but certainly to the anger,” Tasset said.

Tasset, who lives in Michigan, plans to fly to Dallas for that last phase of repairs, which are expected in March.

The eyeball was originally created for a temporary exhibit in Chicago. It was placed in a garden near The Joule, a luxury hotel in Dallas, in 2013 after being purchased by the hotel’s owner, Tim Headington.

Jeny Bania said the eyeball has required “comprehensive cleaning and repair.” She added that moving forward, they’ll “be enhancing our electronic and personal oversight of the art.”

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