It’s one of the most recognizable pieces of public art in Edmonton, but on Saturday morning, the Talus Dome – colloquially known by many Edmontonians as the “Talus balls” – was noticeably different after the stainless steel balls appeared to have had green paint dumped on them.
A spokesperson for the City of Edmonton told Global News the vandalism has been reported and that it is unlikely to be cleaned up before the long weekend is over. The spokesperson said the Edmonton Arts Council’s conservation department will be tasked with assessing the damage and cleaning it up.
The Edmonton Police Service told Global News it was aware of a “vandalism incident” involving the Talus Dome and that it was investigating.
Christine Rankel was jogging past the art piece, which is located off Whitemud Drive and before the Quesnell Bridge, on Saturday morning when she saw what happened to it.
“It’s too bad that people have nothing better to do than mess with that,” she said. “It’s a shame.”
‘I love them,” Rankel added. “I think they’re awesome.”
On its website, the City of Edmonton says “talus forms of earth occurred naturally along the river valley.”
“The artwork reminds us of the landscape that has been altered by the bridge, a rigid, controlled construction that meets our need to traverse the obstacle of the river. It refers to the coexistence of the man-made and the natural.”
The art work is made up of nearly 1,000 hand-crafted, stainless steel spheres. The city says the polished stainless steel used for the piece is “among the highest-grade stainless steel available for architectural scaled applications.”
In 2011, the Talus Dome was also the target of vandals.
The art work was installed earlier that year and was paid for through a city policy requiring a percentage of construction projects’ budgets to be used for public art.
The project was budgeted for about $500,000 at the time.
Global News has reached out to the police for more information.