The Chinatown BIA is looking for answers after one of its Lunar New Year ice sculptures was destroyed outside of a popular Chinatown restaurant on Friday afternoon.
Anissa Wong with the Chinatown BIA says the act of vandalism occurred around 6 p.m. outside the Silver Dragon Restaurant. Despite there not being any security cameras in the area at the time of the incident, she says witnesses who saw everything did alert the owners of the Silver Dragon.
“And tell us the ice sculpture downstairs has been broken and it’s been destroyed by a group of teenagers, but we don’t know them at all and don’t have any footage,” says Anissa.
According to Anissa, witnesses described the teenagers between 16 and 20 years of age.
The five sculptures were installed at last month in part with the 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations.
While the incident has left one of the BIA’s five ice sculptures in rubbles, Anissa says its also left more questions than answers.
“I don’t know why they want to do that,” says Anissa. “Maybe it’s for fun or maybe it’s something like hate but we are not able to confirm,” she added.
This year marks the fifth-consecutive year the sculptures have been installed in collaboration with the Chinatown Ice Sculpture Showcase (CISS).
Each of the sculptures depicts a colourful rabbit signifying the year of the rabbit, one of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac.
Due to the size of the sculptures, ward 7 councillor and former Chinatown BIA executive director Terry Wong says he doesn’t believe the alleged act of vandalism was random.
“These ice sculptures are extremely thick and hard to knock over,” says Wong.
“What I heard yesterday was around six or seven o clock last night some person came by with a blowtorch melted it and knocked it over. So if you can imagine that, it is unbelievable
The Calgary police are now investigating the incident and Councillor Wong says the city has asked police to add more patrols to the area while the sculptures are on display for the next week.
He says despite the alleged act of vandalism, it won’t hinder the community’s celebrations.
“This is still Chinese New Years, so we want people to come down,” says Wong.
“You see a lot of people down here (on Saturday) enjoying it. It’s unfortunate we don’t have an ice sculpture for them to look at.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Calgary police or Crime Stoppers.