KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The statue of author and Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley in Haley Heritage Square on Dandridge Avenue in Knoxville is missing its glasses.
Clyde W. Anderson sits in disgust.
“They have no respect, so I don’t appreciate this,” said Anderson.
The Vietnam veteran is angry about the suspected vandalism. Alex Haley’s statue is supposed to have glasses, but now his specs are gone.
“I hate they did Alex like that,” said Anderson.
The 13 feet bronze statue means a lot to Anderson. He visits the park seven to eight times a month to relax. He says looking at the sculpture without the glasses isn’t the same.
“It represents a famous person. Why would somebody desecrate it? It’s like going in the graveyard and kicking over tombstones,” said Anderson.
Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh is aware of the suspected theft and he isn’t pleased.
“We’ve had problems with the glasses being vandalized in the past. In fact, this past summer we had to have them corrected because of vandalism. So I’m not surprised, but then again I am surprised that they’re totally missing now. We’re working with the police department trying to identify where they might be. Hopefully we can recover them because that is a part of the artwork that makes up the statue,” said Walsh.
Knoxville police haven’t received a police report yet. If anyone knows or has a tip to where Alex Haley’s glasses are you can contact the Knoxville Police Department at (865) 215-7000 or the city’s 311 hotline.
The Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department has already contacted a company to replace the statue’s glasses.