A famed Fresno artwork that survived a January fire continues to be the victim of vandalism.
Flames destroyed the Fagbule Glass House on Shields Avenue near Highway 41, on Jan. 29 just before midnight. The fire destroyed the building. One wall remained, containing a 288-tile artwork by famed Fresno artist Clement Renzi. The piece, “A Day in the Park,” was not damaged.
But what fire could not, vandals have — practically destroying the 42-year-old artwork. Even a tarp covering the art could not prevent vandals.
GV Wire obtained surveillance video showing what appears to be two vandals spray painting the art. Things have gotten worse since.
Two suspects appear from behind security fencing and start spray painting the artwork. It happened around 9:45 p.m. on Feb. 9 and lasted for about five minutes. The video below is an edited time-lapse version.
Police: No Leads
“Unfortunately, there are no leads on this case,” Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said.
Dooley said solving such cases is a “tricky world.”
“There are those who just ‘vandalize’ without purpose — they just mark stuff up with no other purpose. Then there are those that throw up their moniker to get noticed … but determining an identity from that moniker can be difficult for detectives. Some may brag about it online, making it easy to identify them — others may not, so unless we can catch them in the act or find graffiti indicia on a search and tie a specific moniker to that person, their identity remains a mystery,” Dooley said.
Owner Seeking Help
Pastor Steve Fagbule, owner of the art and what remains of the building, set up a GoFundMe account to help preserve the Renzi.
“Despite all our efforts to protect the artwork, vandals are now defacing it with graffiti and this is breaking my heart. I will love to relocate this artwork, restore it and reposition it somewhere it can still be accessible for public viewing. The quote I got for clearing the debris from my burnt-down building and relocating the artwork is about two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00). This is too much for me to handle by myself. I am reaching out to well-meaning people to help me preserve this artwork before it is completely defaced and destroyed. Your help is urgently needed,” Fagbule wrote.
As of Friday, no one had contributed.