Santa Fe police say fire that burned sculpture was arson

August 23, 2021 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Santa Fe are searching for a suspect who set fire to a sculpture over the weekend.

Fire officials say someone deliberately committed arson against a 21-foot (6.4-meter) tall sculpture late Saturday night outside of the Form & Concept gallery downtown.

It took firefighters 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

Police Chief Andrew Padilla told the Santa Fe New Mexican investigators are reviewing surveillance footage in hopes of identifying a suspect.

The newspaper says a photo from a bystander showed a red gas can by the destroyed sculpture.

The gallery said in a statement the sculpture, titled “The Solacii,” was created by Tigre Mashaal-Lively. It was made with steel frame pipes, fiberglass and fabric.

The gallery owners described it as a “queer and Afrofuturist” work. They said the fire was an “undeniable act of violence” against an artist of color.