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Antigonish community piano damaged in act of vandalism

Heavily damaged after being tipped over by vandals, the community piano stands outside the People’s Place Library on Main Street. Staff at the library have encouraged people to salvage parts of the broken instrument.
Heavily damaged after being tipped over by vandals, the community piano stands outside the People’s Place Library on Main Street. Staff at the library have encouraged people to salvage parts of the broken instrument. - Sam Macdonald

Vandalism has reared its ugly head in Antigonish, with the senseless destruction of the community piano at the People’s Place Library.

“Basically, a couple of people came here on Friday night and tipped over the piano,” Kristel Fleuren-Hunter, librarian and children’s services librarian at the People’s Place Library. “A lot of people got upset when they found out about it.”
Unfortunately, the damage to the piano from the impact was so extensive it’s beyond the point of repair. However, Fleuren-Hunter encouraged people looking to salvage pieces – such as the keys – to use them for crafts and projects.

Fleuren-Hunter stressed that she is grateful this incident is out of the ordinary, since the library doesn’t usually see much vandalism, despite it being an area open to the general public, where a lot of people come and go throughout the day.

Corporal Ken Parsons with the Antigonish RCMP said the incident was reported Dec. 3, and an investigation into it is ongoing.

Although there are no suspects at this point, Parsons said the RCMP is looking at video surveillance from the library, and also looking into the possibility of additional surveillance footage from nearby premises.
“We’re speaking with people in the area,” Parsons said. “There will be some follow-up for sure.”

Although the library is close to areas in town that are frequented by people who are drinking, Fleuren-Hunter was certain the damage to the piano had nothing to do with the revelry that usually takes place at places like Piper’s Pub.

“There’s no connection to the pub. We have security cameras, and we don’t believe it was students or adults,” Fleuren-Hunter said.

Here’s a silver lining to the situation though; already, many offers have already been extended to the library, from numerous sources in the Antigonish area, to replace the broken piano.
“People seem to really miss the piano,” Fleuren-Hunter said.

Staff at the People’s Place are going to think it over this winter. A decision on whether or not they’re going to replace the community piano – and if they do, where they’ll get the piano’s replacement from – is forthcoming sometime this spring.

Fleuren-Hunter said the People’s Place first had a piano on display as an exhibit, during a past Antigonight art festival. When the festival ended, she noted people missed the piano, and that the longing people expressed inspired the People’s Place to accept a piano donated by the Bauer Theatre, setting it up outside.

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