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Hatched Baby cannot be fixed

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The big blue baby isn’t coming back to La Crosse City Hall.

German sculptor Wolfgang Auer told the mayor’s office that damage done to his “Hatched Baby” artwork by an unknown vandal cannot be repaired. 

The 9-foot-high sculpture — with an estimated value of $23,000 — of a blue baby head emerging from an eggshell that sits outside the La Crosse Police Department was vandalized on the weekend of Sept. 11-12.

FILE – This is what Hatched Baby looked like after vandals ripped the head off the nine-foot high statue that sits outside the La Crosse Police Department. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

The baby’s face was separated from the rest of the head and taken. The face was found abandoned in someone’s yard on King Street that Monday morning. 

Earlier, the face had popped up on a semi-popular social media site known for posting videos and photos from the area that are out of the ordinary. The photos of Hatched Baby’s face were shown leaning against someone’s couch and resting in a laundry room. Those photos have since been removed.

No one has been arrested yet for the vandalism. Police have yet to release footage of the statue being vandalized.

Only one other time has Hatched Baby been vandalized, when someone who was underage and intoxicated punched the statue, denting its temple.

Auer is from La Crosse’s sister city of Friedberg, Germany. He donated the Hatched Baby to the city in 2017.  Auer used his daughter’s birth to create the statue. It was meant to represent some the anxieties that come with parenthood.

It had been displayed outside La Crosse City Hall since April of 2018.

It had previously stood outside a museum near Cincinnati for a year. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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