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Half-ton Cast Iron Sculpture Vandalized Along Trail

September 5, 2018

A 1,000 pound cast iron sculpture was rolled 100 yards from its grassy home alongside a spur trail off the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, down a ravine and into a murky waterway, sparking a search for the vandals who damaged the artwork. “This wasn’t somebody back stepping into it,” said Nikki Moser cofounder of Keystone Iron Works. The five-foot in diameter spherical sculpture had to be rolled by at least five people, she said. The sculpture, by artist Vaughn Randall, a SUNY Courtland, New York, professor was temporarily displayed on the trail after the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art held in Scranton in May. Both Moser and Randall helped organize the conference which celebrated cast iron art work. Randall was in town Tuesday to pick up the piece and ship it to a buyer when he discovered it was missing, Moser said. The buyer was set to purchase the work for $10,000 and has since cancelled the deal. Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, which maintains the trail, has cameras that the Scranton Police Department monitors, said Owen Worozbyt, Trail & Environmental Program Manager. A police report has been filed about the incident, he said. Lush green vegetation is matted down to its roots where the sculpture rolled into a tributary of the Lackawanna River. Damage is visible on the artwork, which was pulled from the water Wednesday afternoon by Matt Spott from M.J. Spott Crane Rentals in Taylor. Spott donated his services free of charge after hearing the sculpture was vandalized. More than 184 pieces of metal are molded and bolted together in floral shapes to form the sphere. Areas of the sculptures are cracked and dented or no longer connect. Moser’s truck heaved as Spott lowered the sculpture into its bed. She plans to drive the sculpture back to Randall in the upcoming days. “Despondent would be a good word,” Moser said about the situation. “You know when you work so hard to shift the community and do something really great and this happens, its devastating.” Contact the writer: kbolus@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5114; @kbolusTT on Twitter

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