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Monument to whalers vandalized in New London

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A monument honoring whalers outside of the Shaw Mansion in downtown New London was vandalized last week when someone bent its three copper whaling harpoons, breaking one of them into pieces.

The monument, a life-size iron cauldron meant to mimic those once used to cook whale blubber, was made to honor the city's historic whalers. Last week, folks from the city's historical society noticed that the three copper whaling harpoons that rise tall above the cauldron had been bent and the tip of one had been broken off, according to Steven Manuel, executive director of the New London Historical Society.

"It appears someone climbed up onto the whale pot and bent down the copper harpoon heads," said Manuel in an email on Tuesday.

Manuel said that he and his colleagues originally thought the broken-off harpoon head had been stolen, but later found it in the nearby garden. They reported the vandalism to police Oct. 14.

Police said the estimated damage was reported to be between $250 and $1,500.

Located in a small garden in front of the Shaw Mansion at 11 Blinman St., the area around the monument is open to the public. Manuel said he was disappointed to see the monument damaged.

"I've been here eight years and we have never had anything like this happen," he said in an email. "It makes me sad because we like to leave the garden open to be used as a green space in the city."

Police said they weren't sure exactly when the vandalism had occurred or how long the harpoons had been broken before the incident was reported. Police said they are investigating the vandalism.



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