MARQUETTE - The city's 115-year-old statue of Father Jacques Marquette was vandalized recently, prompting officials to offer a reward.
"It looks like spray paint. I don't know," said Emily Lewis, the president of the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee. "His face is red, there's some insignia on his chest, there are streaks on his robe."
The statue, which was first erected in the city in 1897, currently stands to the north of the Lake Superior Community Partnership building.
Marquette’s historic Father Marquette statue, seen here, was vandalized recently. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
Police estimate the vandalism involved spray paint and occurred sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Though the statue has belonged to the city for decades, the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee and the city commission are in the middle of a yearlong agreement under which the committee has control of the antique in order to restore it.
Lewis said her group will likely be responsible for repairing the damage, but said the committee has insurance on the statue.
"It's going to be at the committee's expense to clean it," she said. "It's a bronze statue, so it's going to have to be a real delicate process."
Lewis said the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or group of people responsible for the damage.
If anyone would like to add to the reward fund, Lewis said they can call her at 906-226-9618 or send contributions to P.O. Box 334, Marquette, MI 49855.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to call the Marquette City Police at 906-228-0400.
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.