Broken statue saddens library

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Was it an accident or an act of vandalism?

Mary Hedrick, library supervisor for the Harrison Regional Library in Columbiana, could hardly hide the broken heart she felt as she held pieces in her hands of the St. Francis of Assisi statue that has greeted guests at the library since 1969.

While the concrete statue had little real monetary value, according to library director Barbara Roberts, &uot;It had great sentimental value to library and the staff of the library.&uot;

Hedrick said sometime between Thursday, Feb. 10 and Monday, Feb. 14, something happened to the statue. It was discovered Tuesday, Feb. 15 in pieces.

According to Hedrick and Roberts, the statue has greeted patrons at the library since it was dedicated to the memory of the late Lawrence S. Whitten along with a small garden when the library opened.

Whitten was the architect for the library who died before the project was completed.

&uot;I think it is very unfortunate,&uot; Roberts said.

She also expressed frustration at not knowing exactly what happened.

&uot;We would like to know what happened,&uot; she said.

She said that if the damage were an accident, that would be taken into account.

&uot;I think it is a sad thing if someone maliciously did this in a nice town such as Columbiana,&uot; Roberts said.

Hedrick agreed.

&uot;We want whoever did this to know that you have to respect other people’s property,&uot; she said.

While Roberts said the little statue would be replaced, it is not within the library’s budget this year.

She indicated the library would be accepting donations.

Hedrick said of the little statue, &uot;It becomes a part of your workplace … To think someone could do such a mean thing saddens me.&uot;

According to Hedrick and Roberts, the incident has been reported to the Columbiana Police Department