As a devout Catholic and art lover, Greg Dougherty was outraged when he heard someone had set “Morning Spirits,” the sculpture of a cardinal situated on 4J Road, on fire at 1:30 a.m. April 10. The statue is part of the city’s Avenues of Art.
“It was appalling, especially happening on the evening of Palm Sunday,” he said.
The more Dougherty thought about it, the angrier he got. So he decided to buy the cardinal and bring it back permanently to Gillette.
“I thought it was a good way to get back at the Pontius Pilots of Gillette,” Dougherty said.
He informed the Mayor’s Arts Council of his intent to buy the $22,000 statue on Friday. Of that, 25 percent will go back to the group.
It was a good end to a week that had rocked members of the arts council when they learned of the vandalism to the statue.
Dougherty, a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, already has spoken to church officials about putting the cardinal permanently on church property. He hopes vandals will stay away from it and the incident was a one-time deal, he said.