Graffiti Removed From Prince Kūhiō Statue
The Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts on Thursday finished graffiti removal on the Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole statue located in Waikīkī. On Halloween night, Oct. 31, a vandal spray painted the statue red and the incident was captured on video.
The dried paint residue on the statue was removed using conservation methods and lasted for most of the day Thursday. A wax coating was also reapplied to protect the bronze and restore the exterior shine of the artwork.
“This type of desecration to a piece of art honoring a beloved Hawaiian Aliʻi won’t be tolerated here on O‘ahu,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “I’m glad the alleged vandal was apprehended by the Honolulu Police Department and I’m urging the toughest penalties possible. We need to send a strong message that these type of acts and any sort of graffiti are completely unacceptable.”
“It breaks my heart that someone would deface our beloved Prince,” added Misty Kelaʻi, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts. “Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, often called Ke Aliʻi Makaʻāinana (Prince of the People), worked his entire life to strengthen the Hawaiian people and empower the community he served. We have to respect the monuments that are in place to remind kamaʻāina and malihini of the contributions of our Aliʻi.”
The $130,000 piece of artwork was commissioned by the city in 2001 and unveiled on Jan. 12, 2002. Artist Sean Browne created the statue of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and it was placed in Kūhiō Beach on the Diamond Head side of Waikīkī along Kalākaua Avenue.