Councilman Pavlis Offers $500 Reward Over Vandalism

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Councilman Pavlis Offers $500 Reward Over Vandalism

Posted: 04/08/2010
Knoxville City Councilman Nick Pavlis has personally offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism of a sculpture commissioned by the Dogwood Arts Festival for James Agee Park in Fort Sanders. Pavlis, who represents South Knoxville and Fort Sanders on the City Council, was outraged by the vandalism.

"Any act of vandalism is terrible and amounts to nothing more than mindless violence and destruction," Pavlis said. "I've sent a letter this morning to District Attorney General Randy Nichols stating that I am personally, out of my own pocket, offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for the destruction of the sculpture in James Agee Park."

Pavlis said the Dogwood Arts Festival had given a $1,000 grant to create the sculpture, which was made by University of Tennessee students Seth Collins and Zac Benson. The sculpture took weeks for the two students to design and build and their "work was destroyed in a single night" Pavlis pointed out.

Pavlis cited a report in an article from The Knoxville News-Sentinel and in particular, a comment made by Jason Brown, an associate professor of sculpture at the University of Tennessee. "Professor Brown was quoted as saying he thought this act was 'calculated' and went on to say that 'it was more than just a prank'. That being the case, I think it is important that the person or persons responsible for this act to be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"The bottom line is we should have no tolerance for this sort of behavior in our city parks," Pavlis said. "I 'm very sorry these young men have had their work destroyed and it's in my district. Are there bigger issues facing the City of Knoxville? Of course there are, but I'm willing to put up some of my own money to see if we can't send a message to people out there who want to tear down the good things in our community."