Vera Katz statue vandalized on Eastbank Esplanade

Vandals have defaced a popular Portland statute.

The depiction of Vera Katz along the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade was spray-painted, apparently earlier today. The vandals painted the top of the statue of Katz sitting on an Esplanade bench orange. A swastika was painted on the statue's chest.

Next to the statue along a wall, the words " Vera Katz wants affordable housing" are spray-painted. It's not clear whether the message and the damage to the statue are related.

The Regional Arts and Culture Council, which oversees public art, is working to remedy the vandalism, a Portland Parks and Recreation department spokesman said. A RACC representative wasn't immediately available for comment.

Runner Nate Kettlewell noticed the vandalism while using the path this morning.

"I was astonished," Kettlewell said. "I stopped running and turned around and took a moment to gather myself. Bikes and other runners were cruising by. Then I decided to call the police non-emergency line to report it, which took a few minutes.

"And I overcame my ambivalence about sharing this image and took (the picture above), because I thought it best to let people know that even though I greatly enjoy living in the liberal bubble of Portland, there is indeed ugliness and hatred here."

Katz, who's Jewish, and her family fled Germany when she was two months old as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power, according to her Wikipedia page.

The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.


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