CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago were outraged this week when they discovered a vandal had defaced the two lion statues that grace the museum entrance in Chinatown.
WBBM Newsradio’s Kimberly Easton reports museum director Anita Luk said a vandal was caught on surveillance video when he used a hammer to knock out the teeth of the two hand-carved stone lions perched outside the museum.
The vandalism caused about $10,000 of damage. Each lion was fashioned from a single chunk of blue stone.
Luk said, by knocking out the lions’ teeth, the vandal also took away their power. Imperial guardian lions are traditionally reserved for the Chinese elite, and placed outside a home to protect the family’s possessions and well-being.
The two lions were donated to the museum by Chinese officials last year for Chinatown’s centennial celebration.