Vandals broke dozens of pots, damaged a fountain and broke a
sign in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens late Friday or early Saturday, Duke Police
Gardens officials said about 40 terra cotta pots in the rose
garden and the lower terraces were broken. A piece of sculpture within a
terrace fountain also was damaged, as was a sign for the Asiatic Arboretum. The
damage was discovered Saturday morning by a person jogging through the gardens.
A wedding in the gardens was delayed an hour Saturday as
work crews cleaned up the damage.
Duke officials were still assessing the situation Saturday
and no official damage estimate was available.
"It is unfortunate that such an act of vandalsim
would occur in a botanic garden whose mission it is to provide an environment
for learning, inspiration and enjoyment," said William LeFevre, the gardens' executive director. "I appreciate the quick response of the
Duke Police and gardens staff and am confident that all will be back to normal
in short order."
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact
Duke Police at 684-2444.