Sometime between 4 p.m. on Monday, October 5th, and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th, an act of vandalism occurred on the Tryon Palace grounds. Three of the Palace Gardens–Latham, Green and Wilderness West-suffered damage to their statues. A gardener discovered the damage early Tuesday morning, and the New Bern Police were called in to investigate. The police found no obvious signs of entrance but are continuing their investigation and will be posting larger police presence in the area.
Five statues from the Gardens were damaged, several from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The damaged collection pieces include; a Little Boy in the Green Garden, a large urn in the Wilderness West, a small bowl of fruit made of cast concrete, a large bowl of fruit made of limestone, and a two-handled lead urn. A few of the pieces had to be removed from the Gardens for conservation and repair.
Richard Baker, Tryon Palace’s Conservator, said “It is tragic, the pieces are irreplaceable.” Registrar of Collections, Kayla Leonard, added, “It was a devastating day for the Collections at Tryon Palace. These pieces matter, they are part of our story.”
Tryon Palace is asking the public to help catch those responsible for the vandalism and asks that anyone with any information that be relevant to the incident contact the New Bern Police.
By Nancy Figiel, Tryon Palace