Anish Kapoor’s public sculpture Cloud Gate (2006), better known by Chicagoans and tourists alike as “The Bean,” was spray painted with graffiti late Monday night. Seven suspects have been taken into custody regarding the incident and, as of Tuesday, their charges were still pending.
The sculpture is housed in Chicago’s Millennium Park and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Workers began removing the graffiti early Tuesday morning, and by 10:30am the Bean was clean again.
I was pretty pissed off. [. . .] 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 park opened and The Bean was first opened up as an icon in our city. It is unbelievably unacceptable for people to be defacing something like that.
When asked by Tribune reporters why the graffiti on Cloud Gate warranted such a strong reaction, while gang graffiti in other Chicago neighborhoods is not prioritized, Mayor Lightfoot responded:
It’s unacceptable wherever it is. [. . .] But clearly they chose this area to make a big statement. But it’s not acceptable anywhere. It’s not acceptable anywhere in the city. In my neighborhood, Logan Square, we have gang graffiti. I had my garage tagged. It’s not acceptable. People should have a decent quality of life all over the city.