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Former Bellevue Hospital Center Psychiatrist Restoring Vandalized Statues

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Vandalized sculptures being restored at Bellevue Hospital Center (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Vandalized sculptures being restored at Bellevue Hospital Center (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital Center is fighting back against an act of vandalism in the hospital’s garden.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the Sobriety Garden’s beheaded ceramic animals are being painstakingly restored by Dr. Annatina Miescher, a former psychiatrist at the hospital who enlisted patients to create the sculptures.

Miescher said she discovered that someone had vandalized the garden, smashing and decapitating the ceramic animals, in January while visiting a friend with cancer.

“In the snow all these poor animals had their innards out, their snouts were all gone, and it looked overwhelming awful and gruesome,” she said. “Thank God that person took it out on those cement sculptures, and not on real people.”

Vandalized sculptures being restored at Bellevue Hospital Center (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Vandalized sculptures being restored at Bellevue Hospital Center (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Vandals had destroyed more than a dozen animal sculptures created by Miescher and her patients, who were recovering alcoholics.

“Each of the rams or the sheep had its personality that was taken from the patient that did the finishing structure on it,” she explained.

Miescher said she hopes to restore the garden to its once serene landscape by July.

“Bellevue is known to treat gunshot wounds, horrible tragedies. Outside the hospital we can do the same to the cement animals and show that the hospitals can save and cure both,” she said.

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