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University of Kansas Native American art exhibit targeted

September 30, 2021 GMT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A stolen panel from a Native American art installation at the University of Kansas has been recovered, just weeks after other panels in the exhibit were vandalized, police said Thursday.

The panel from the “Native Host” exhibit was reported stolen on Wednesday. It was recovered and police are talking to a person of interest in the case, University police Deputy Chief James Druen said Thursday.

The theft is a separate case from vandalism to the other four panels of the exhibit that occurred Sept. 4, Druen told The Lawrence Journal-World.

The exhibit by artist Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, was installed outside of the Spencer Museum of Art on the Lawrence campus. The five aluminum signs name Native tribes who historically or currently inhabit Kansas.

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The museum took down the four damaged panels to be repaired and the exhibit will be reinstalled, university officials said in a statement Thursday.

Chancellor Doug Girod, Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer and museum director Saralyn Reece Hardy said they are committed to reinstalling the exhibit. They said they also plan to hold a “public conversation” about the attacks on the artwork.