Chicago Lincoln Bust Vandalized

(CBS) – An obscure Lincoln statue on Chicago’s South Side – one that’s been there for decades – was vandalized and set on fire this week.

The large bust of Abraham Lincoln at the corner of 69th and Wolcott has been a staple of the West Englewood neighborhood – an unofficial landmark, locals say.

But earlier this week, someone vandalized the weathered statue, which already was chipped. Ward 15 Ald. Ray Lopez says someone wrapped the bust in tar paper and lit it on fire.

For neighbors, it’s hard to believe.

“To see this defaced like that, burned up like that, it’s a disgrace to the whole neighborhood,” Derrick Pittman says.

It’s even more upsetting for Jack McGrath, who says his father helped placed it in the neighborhood in the 1920s. He says the elder McGrath found the piece in a salvage yard, and he and another man provided the base for it.

City historians say the Lincoln likeness may have dovetailed with a business, such as a gas station, at the corner.

Ald. Lopez says he’d like to see the piece restored.

“It belongs here,” McGrath says.

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