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Norman statue defaced with racist graffiti now repaired

NORMAN, Okla. – Weeks after a woman was arrested for a series of vandalism cases in the metro, a well-known statue that was defaced has been repaired.

The investigation began late last month after the Oklahoma Democratic headquarters and the Chickasaw Nation buildings were vandalized with racist graffiti in Oklahoma City.

The concrete was spray painted with neo-Nazi messages including ‘Gas the Jews’, ‘Welcome to Germany’ and racial slurs directed at different ethnicities.

Earlier this month, officials in Norman discovered that McKinley Elementary School, the Firehouse Arts Center and the Cleveland County Democratic Headquarters were all covered in racial slurs and hate-filled messages.

“This is clearly the work of somebody that is absolutely out of their mind,” Richard McKown, a local artist, told News 4.

McKown is the artist behind the sculpture that was covered in racist messages and symbols at the Firehouse Arts Center in Norman.

“I’m disappointed that I’ve got to stop what I am doing,” said McKown. “It’s crazy frustrating. I would rather be making new stuff.”

The sculpture is of his daughter, Olivia, so it was important for the graffiti to be removed immediately.

McKown says he went to a nearby Sherwin Williams store, which donated the materials to help remove the graffiti from the statue.

"I'm really grateful to them. They have been so kind and so generous," McKown said.

McKown says when he found what he needed, the employees at Sherwin Williams wouldn't let him pay for his purchase.

"They said we've gotta stick together as a community," McKown added.

After cleaning the sculpture, McKown said that you could still see some remnants of the graffiti because the statue is so porous. He was able to paint over the statue to give it a fresh new look.

 

Allison Christine Johnson has been charged with four counts of malicious injury to property and one count of malicious intimidation or harassment in Cleveland County.

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