Chapel Hill, N.C. — A sculpture designed by fashion designer Alexander Julian as part of a fundraiser for the North Carolina Children's Hospital has been vandalized, officials said Thursday.
“Alexander Moo-lian Bow-vine” is among more than 80 life-size cow sculptures dispersed across the Triangle this week in CowParade North Carolina 2012.
The cow, which was decorated in the style of Julian's clothing line, was placed in front of the visitors center at the University of North Carlina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday. Late that night, someone stole its oversized bow tie.
"The thought that anyone would harm any of the cows on parade is very disappointing to me, especially knowing the first cow to be vandalized is on the campus of UNC, my alma mater,” Julian said in a statement.
To encourage the safe return of the bow tie, Children's Hospital officials said no charges would be filed and no questions would be asked if it is returned by Aug. 30. If that deadline isn't met, however, the hospital will offer a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.
The Julian-designed cow, which was sculpted by UNC alumni Raines Thompson and Earle Thompson, is valued at $20,000, which officials said makes it one of the most valuable pieces in the Cow Parade exhibit.
The cow sculptures will be on display through early December before being auctioned off in January.
"I only hope the bow tie is returned so Alexander Moo-lian Bow-vine can continue to bring joy to visitors and be auctioned to help so many sick children who depend on the hospital for world-class care,” Julian said.
CowParade is part of an international public art event that has raised more than $30 million for its nonprofit partners in 75 cities since 1999.