Damaged Diana won't return to Halifax Public Gardens
Diana came to the Public Gardens as a gift 138 years ago.
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 7:09PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, August 20, 2012 7:11PM ADT
A historic statue that has stood in Halifax’s Public Gardens since 1887 won’t ever be displayed there again.
The statue “Diana” was badly damaged by vandals in March.
“The statue's missing! Oh my God, what happened to the statue?” asked a visitor to the Public Gardens today.
The statue is now in storage, but it won’t be restored at the Public Gardens.
“We've talked to heritage consultants and even the people who offered to give us a hand putting it back together,” says Halifax Regional Municipality Chief Horticulturalist Bev MacPhail. “I think we all realize that she'll never be outside again.”
Diana came to the Public Gardens as a gift, passed on from Sir William Young when he died. Young was Nova Scotia’s second premier and also served as chief justice. Diana and her friends, Ceres and Flora, are 138 years old.
While Diana will never again be outside at the Public Gardens, she may be resurrected inside, in a public building.
“There is an art policy for HRM, so it would probably go through the art policy as to. you know, what public buildings are available, what would be appropriate,” says MacPhail.
“I think that's disgraceful,” says one Halifax resident. “I am ashamed on behalf of all Haligonians. I sincerely hope that they catch the people who did this.”
The police have no leads and the case is closed unless someone comes forward with new information. In the meantime, the city will focus on getting the Victoria Fountain open by October.
MacPhail says Diana didn’t have much monetary value, but did have tremendous cultural value.
“If you ask most families in HRM, they would have a family picture of a graduation, a wedding, a reunion, when friends come to town, standing in front of the bandstand with Diana in the front and the band stand in the back,” she says. “That is such a popular place for people to create their memories.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell