Vandals go on smashing spree in Escondido sculpture garden

Posted at 11:59 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 12:17:29-04

Someone broke into Queen Califia’s Magical Circle located in Kit Carson Park.

The sculpture garden features many works of art, including a mosaic maze, totem sculptures, a fountain, and a wall in the form of playful serpents.  

The vandals cut the lock to the gate leading into the property. Then they smashed more than 20 custom shaped mirrors in the mosaic maze.  They also damaged two of the totems. The damage was discovered this week.

Lech Juretko, of Art Mosaic Inc, helped the artist, Niki de Saint Phalle, create the sculpture garden for the community. He is also the one charged with repairing it.

“I cannot really explain it,” Juretko said about the damage, “It’s sad. It’s never happened.”

Juretko estimates it will cost $5,000 to $8,000 to repair the damage. He did not have a timeline for the repairs.

The City of Escondido released the following statement to 10News.

“The City plans to keep Queen Califia’s Magical Circle open during the regularly scheduled hours, weather permitting. Signage will be posted, and areas that could possibly be sharp from the glass and tile breakage will be blocked off. In addition, we always have a volunteer docent on site at all times while the sculpture garden is open to the public. We are deeply saddened this beautiful space has been vandalized and will restore it to its original condition as safely and quickly as possible.”

De Saint Phalle is also known as the creator of the famous Sun God sculpture on the UC San Diego campus.