Four pieces of indigenous artwork were vandalized Saturday night at the Spencer Museum of Art, according to the KU Public Safety Office.
The art, which comprises five signs outside of the museum, is a tribute to Native tribes in “the region that is now called Kansas,” the museum said.
Each sign lists the name of the location backwards and the name of who originally lived on the land forwards, according to the museum.
“Heap of Birds addresses issues of place, heritage, dominant culture, and memory through his text-based artworks,” the museum said.
The art, from a collection by Edgar Heap of Birds, has been taken off display for the time being, according to the museum.
“We are working with Edgar Heap of Birds to determine the best steps for reinstalling this work,” the museum said in a Twitter post.
The First Nations Student Association is holding a gathering at 3:00 p.m. Friday outside the Spencer Museum of Art to protest the act of vandalism against the land acknowledgements.
“We know the actions of these individuals have made community members feel angry, hurt, and/or unsafe,” the KU Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging said in a Tweet.
On 09/04/2021 at 11:08 P.M. two individuals damaged 4 pieces of artwork. The incident occurred on the lawn of Spencer Museum of Art. The suspects are seen in the below photo. If you have information about the identity of these individuals, please call KUPSO at 785-864-5900. pic.twitter.com/h3TM4qs2Mg— KUPublicSafetyOffice (@KUPublicSafety) September 7, 2021
Police are looking for the public’s help identifying the individuals suspected of the crime. Individuals with any information can call KU Crime Stoppers at 785-864-8888 or the KU PSO non-emergency line at 785-864-5900.