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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Crews removed the historic Viking statue from the Schuylkill River after it was toppled early Tuesday morning.
Authorities discovered the 7-foot tall bronze sculpture had been pushed off its granite base and into the Schuylkill River along Boathouse Row around 2 a.m.
The 100-year-old statue is of Viking explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni and is located near the lighthouse.
Investigators are still trying to figure out how someone was able to do this as the statue weighs roughly 1,000 pounds. Police did find a crowbar nearby and packed that into an evidence bag.
There was some controversy around the statue about a year ago. Last October, white nationalists rallied in front of the statue, defending white heritage. Counter-protesters rallied around them, denouncing white supremacy.
It is unclear if the act of vandalism stems from that idealistic clash or something else.
The city says this was unacceptable.
“It’s just troubling that people spend this much energy and time on destructive behavior like this that just ends up costing the city money,” said Margo Berg with the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.
Police are looking at surveillance video nearby to try and see who did this and from there, hopefully have a better understanding of why.