The head of the St. Junipero Serra statue in the Lower Presidio Historic Park in Monterey has been reattached to the rest of its form after being vandalized more than a year ago. City officials and police say they will coordinate a security plan to keep it from happening again.
“The consideration now is the physical security of the site itself,” said Jim Laughlin, a Presidio of Monterey spokesman. “Both Monterey and Presidio of Monterey police will be patrolling that area.”
In October 2015, Monterey police discovered the 125-year-old statue of the newly-canonized Catholic saint had been decapitated just weeks after the Carmel Mission and the faithful around the world celebrated the sainthood of the father of the California mission system.
The head was not found immediately following the vandalism. It was discovered about six months later in a tide pool at Breakwater Cove, not far from where its body still stood.
“The estimate for repair and reattachment is $8,000,” said Willard McCrone of the Old Monterey Foundation. Before the head was located, the cost of repairing the body and replacing the missing part stood at an estimated $77,000.
The foundation has raised funds from a charitable association to repair and attach the head, which was completed a few days ago, said Frank Sollecito, a past president of the Old Monterey Foundation.
“Most of the money was donated to the Old Monterey Foundation and raised by the Native Sons of the Golden West,” said Sollecito. “The group was gracious enough to finance $7,500 of the cost.”
The Native Sons is a fraternal service organization founded in 1875 and dedicated to historic preservation in the state.
Full story at Monterey County Herald.