The statue Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture at Peace Park has been vandalized in an act similar to the incident in December of 2003 when its arm was sawed off and thrown into the Lake Washington Ship Canal and its leg damaged. Today a Seattle Times photographer noticed her arm had been torn off and contacted Parks and Recreation.
Seattle Parks and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs ask that anyone with knowledge of this act of vandalism call Seattle police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.
Peace Park was the dream of Dr. Floyd Schmoe, who after winning the Hiroshima Peace Prize in 1998, used the $5,000 prize money to clear a small lot near the University of Washington. From a pile of wrecked cars, garbage, and brush, he worked with community volunteers to build Peace Park. The park was dedicated on August 6, 1990, the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Sadako and the Thousand Cranes was created in 1990 by artist Daryl Smith. The statue is a life-size bronze of Sadako Sasaki, the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing only to die of radiation sickness at age 12. The statue was funded through a Fratelli’s Ice Cream Company Sound Ideas program grant, one of a series of grants awarded to improve the community.
After the 2003 act of vandalism Michiko Pumpian, Executive Director of the World Peace Project for Children, helped raise funds for the repair and restoration of the statue.
Hundreds of children visit the park each year and bring folded origami paper cranes to the statue to show their hope for peace in the world. On some days you can find thousands of colorful paper cranes draped over Sadako. She is a symbol of peace throughout the world because of the strength she showed while fighting her illness and spreading her message of peace.
Peace Park is located at NE Pacific St. and NE 40th St. just west of the north end of University Bridge.
(Photo by Ryan Meuth)