Caught on surveillance video: suspect knocks over artwork in Downtown Mobile

An iconic piece of art was destroyed over the weekend in Downtown Mobile.
Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:30 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - An iconic piece of art was defaced over the weekend in Downtown Mobile.

MPD is now looking for two suspects after surveillance video shows one of them kicking over an oyster sculpture in Bienville Square.

Ginger Woechan is the artist of the oyster, and she says this comes as a blow. Her hand-painted oyster has stood in Bienville Square since 2013.

“You’re attacking a piece of public art for the city. You’re taking something and you’re making it look ugly when we’re trying to make it look beautiful. You’re doing something in a reckless, careless way and it doesn’t reflect what and who we are as the city of Mobile,” stated Woechan.

When Woechan heard the news and saw the surveillance video, she says she was shocked.

“I was really taken aback, I was shocked. I just had my 40th birthday and I found out that news-- and as much as I was shocked about it, I know what this piece represented to our community and enjoyed it for the ten years it was here.”

The surveillance video captured the moment when a suspect ran up, kicked the oyster, and scampered away.

MPD is on the hunt for the two suspects in those pictures.

It’s a thoughtless act, according to Woechan.

“When your decision--takes away or defaces something that is not yours that brings value to our community-- it’s completely wrong and doesn’t need to happen,” she concluded.

The oyster was one of 12 works of art that make up the Oyster Trail in Downtown Mobile.

Woechan says the piece was incredibly special.

“This piece is special to me because I’ve had people for the last ten years tag me in photos, comment to me and children come up to me-- it connects me to the community,” she said.

Woechan has high hopes to replace or repair the lost emblem.

“I’m definitely open to creating another piece in this spot that would represent that piece again and making it bigger and better,” she added.

If you think you know who the suspects are or where they could be, call the Mobile Police Department.

MPD says the suspects could be liable to a hefty fine for property damage.

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