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New Tompkins Square Sculpture Uprooted by Vandals Only Days After Installation

By Patrick Hedlund | August 1, 2011 2:35pm | Updated on August 1, 2011 2:38pm

EAST VILLAGE — That was fast.

A new sculpture in Tompkins Square Park was ripped from the ground Monday by vandals, only days after an artist unveiled the public-art piece.

Scott Taylor’s “WALK MAN,” which arrived at the green space on Saturday, was uprooted in broad daylight from its position near the park’s East Ninth Street traverse early Monday afternoon, he told DNAinfo.

The work, set to stay in the park for four months, had received a crochet covering from yarn artist Olek Sunday — with Taylor’s blessing.

But somebody apparently didn’t take kindly to the work, which represents the symbol seen on traffic signs around the globe.

“I’m going to pull it,” Taylor said from the scene Monday afternoon, noting that he planned to rent a truck to cart the 7-foot-tall steel figure back to his Lower East Side home. “I’m afraid to put it back here.”

The piece was bolted into the ground by its feet, but that didn’t stop someone from using enough force to loosen the sculpture so much that it could no longer stand upright, he noted.

“I just have the feeling that whatever I do, its just going to happen again,” said the deflated artist, who had a similar piece in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park beheaded.

“I’m just kind of gun shy.”