One of the most distinguished cows on campus has lost its flair.
Alexander Moo-lian Bow-vine, the fiberglass cow designed by UNC alumnus and clothing designer Alexander Julian, was reported vandalized Wednesday morning.
The cow, which stands outside Morehead Planetarium, is missing its signature bow tie.
CowParadeNC, a public art exhibit and charity organization, brought 15 bovines to campus early this week.
“I feel violated with this little prank,” Julian said. “I’m calling it a prank, and I hope that’s all it is.”
Ron Fox, owner and vice president of the international CowParade organization, estimated that the cow is valued around $20,000, based on the prices of signature cow sculptures at auctions in other cities.
“This is one of the top cows that we think has been subjected to intentional vandalism,” Fox said.
Julian said the tie was the hardest part of his cow to create. He worked with Raines Thompson and Earle Kluttz Thompson of Kluttz Thompson Designs — both UNC alumnae — to create it.
“That’s the worst thing that they could have taken,” Julian. “It had to be taken out to a body shop to be made.”
Fox said with 81 cows dispersed throughout the Triangle, vandalism like this was likely — but he’s not happy about it.
“It’s something that we take very seriously when it does happen because (the cow) represents the hard work of the artist and everyone who helped put it together,” he said.
Fox said a similar incident happened in Madison, Wis., at a previous CowParade that CowParadeNC officials used as a benchmark.
Three cows on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was tipped when CowParade was there in 2006.
N.C. Children’s Hospital, the beneficiary of CowParadeNC, is not pressing charges — for now.
The hospital set a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday for the safe return of the bow tie, no questions asked.
After the deadline, there will be a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.
“We’re giving people a week to realize that they only meant for it to be a prank and didn’t realize what they were actually doing,” said Danielle Bates, hospital spokeswoman.
Bates said she is disappointed that the vandalism happened at UNC.
“The very curious thing on our end is wondering if they had to damage the tie to get it off and if we are going to get it back reasonably intact,” she said.
Julian said the bow tie is the piece that defines his cow.
“The next time someone ties one on, don’t untie mine.”
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