Damaged monument in Piasa Park in Alton

ALTON, Illinois — Vandals knocked over and broke the marble arrowhead at Piasa Park in Alton that describes the legend of the Piasa Bird.

“It was split in half where all the text is, and some of these chunks came out,” said Michael Haynes, director of Parks and Recreation in Alton. “It wouldn’t be easy to fix.”

A painting of the original pictograph of the Piasa Bird sits atop the limestone bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River just north of downtown Alton. The Piasa Bird is said to be a mythical creature from Native American mythology that lived near the Alton area.

The arrowhead, donated by the Illinois State Historical Society in the mid-1980s, is made of marble granite.

Haynes said it wasn’t the first time the arrowhead had been knocked over. This time, however, it was broken, and he encouraged anyone with information about the Arrowhead’s vandalism to contact the Alton Police Department.

“It can be glued back together, but it won’t look right,” Haynes said. “We will get a quote on what it takes to replace it. We are also looking at other options like flat signage, maybe no monument, something else.”

He said the vandals may have used a vehicle to topple the arrowhead, which was originally glued in place. Haynes believes the cost of replacing the arrowhead would be around $10,000 or more and said they are considering revising ways to depict the legend of the Piasa Bird.

“This park and this area is going to get a significant facelift over the next year or so,” Haynes said. “In addition, we will try to find new and creative ways to represent the Piasa bird.”

To replace the monument, it will need the help of the community. Officials said they would add additional security and cameras.

https://fox2now.com/news/illinois/monument-damaged-at-piasa-park-in-alton/ Damaged monument in Piasa Park in Alton

Sarah Y. Kim

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