'The Bean' Vandalized; 7 People Arrested
Updated at 12:17 p.m.
Chicago Police have arrested seven people suspected of spray-painting graffiti on two downtown landmarks, including the giant metallic sculpture known as "the Bean."
Authorities say the popular sculpture was vandalized late Monday and that the suspects were detained a short time later. Charges were pending Tuesday morning.
The sculpture's stainless-steel reflective surface was marked with "35th Crew" in silver lettering near the bottom along with other markings.
Memorial walls in the Cancer Survivors' Garden in nearby Maggie Daley Park also were vandalized.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed outrage.
"Look, there are some things that should be sacred. Millennium Park and the Bean have been an important, iconic part of who we are as Chicago from the time that that park opened," she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It is unbelievably unacceptable for people to be defacing something like that."
Lightfoot said graffiti and gang markings "spread fear in the hearts of people" and shouldn't be tolerated. Crews were in the process of removing the graffiti, according to the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Visitors to the Bean also reacted to the vandalism as workers scrubbed off the spray paint.
"That's not right," Alfredo Chabez, visiting from San Diego, said of the graffiti. He said it was his first time seeing the Bean.
"I don’t understand how they destroyed something that belongs to everyone. [The Bean] is an attractive thing for the city, and we need to preserve it and keep it in good shape."
The sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor is formally known as "Cloud Gate" and weighs 110 tons. It is 66-feet long and sits in a plaza just off of Michigan Avenue.
WBEZ intern reporter Blair Paddock contributed.