Reader: Denver Art Museum Attacked...That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things!

A section of Stampede before the attack.
A section of Stampede before the attack.
Denver Art Museum
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On Sunday, December 9, a vandal entered the fourth floor of the Denver Art Museum and attacked the Stampede exhibit, damaging ten pieces, many of them unreplaceble pre-Columbian ceramic vessels. The attack was one day shy of the one-year anniversary of another vandal tagging the Ponti building, which had just closed for a major renovation.

On December 10, the Denver Police Department arrested eighteen-year-old Jake Siebenist, who's been charged with criminal mischief in connection with the attack. While he has yet to have his day in court, the court of public opinion is already weighing in.

Says Julia: 

 Disgusting to destroy thousands of dollars in art plus countless hours of effort from the artists and museum staff that went into the creation, curation, and exhibition of the art...what a dick.

Adds John: 

Try him as an adult and put him in jail. This is so fucked up. So angry after reading the pieces that were compromised. Unacceptable.

Counters Rob: 

I think that the person was just expressing their right to remove and damage anything they find offensive in a public place. They can tear down statues in the South, so no reason to stop them here.

Comments Michelle: 

Denver is turning to shit these last four years. Shootings, car thefts, robberies, vandals. Make Colorado great again!

Adds Matthew: 

Thankfully, I got to see the Mona Lisa up close without any barriers...those days are fast becoming over. We used to fly and not have to strip down... the lowest common denominators run our lives like this dipshit. I’m all for cruel and unusual punishment...I see no reason why his eyes shouldn’t be plucked out. Never see art again.

Concludes Marie: 

Jacob Siebenlist was arrested for this crime. Little punk, that's why we can't have nice things.

Keep reading for more coverage of the Denver Art Museum.

Reader: Denver Art Museum Attacked...That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things!
Kenzie Bruce

"Some Idiot Vandalized the Denver Art Museum's Gio Ponti Building"

Reader: Denver Art Museum Attacked...That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things!
Courtesy of Fentress Architects and Machado Silvetti

Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks Start of DAM's $150 Million Ponti Project"

Reader: Denver Art Museum Attacked...That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things!EXPAND
Special to Westword

"Visitor Attacks Art at the Denver Art Museum"

According to a DPD report, "Siebenlist was observed by several witnesses and security causing extensive damage to various art sculptures, artifacts and paintings on the fourth floor, proceeded to walk to a glass bonet and pushed the glass structure causing it to fall over and shatter. Security at the scene tried to gain control of Siebenlist who pushed the museum patrons out of his path, making his way towards other art sculptures and paintings."

"Siebenlist then began to throw numerous sculptures across the room causing them to break and began shattering other art sculptures into the ground," the police report continues. "Siebenlist also tried to damage two paintings that were protected by plastic glass, but was unable to cause any damage to the two paintings. Security at the scene was able to take control of Siebenlist who tried to punch security while he was being restrained."

In total, ten pieces were damaged: "Wolf Headdress Mask," "Raven Rattle Tlingit," "Jaina Style Figurine," "Moche Portrait Bottle," "Chinese Vase with Phoenixes," "Moche Rattle Bowl," "Mayan Fish-Shaped Vessel," "Mayan Vessel with God on Bird," "Chinese Initiator Sculpture" and "Beware of Cranes Sculpture."

What do you think Siebenlist's sentence should be? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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