A PIANO donated to the community as part of a Cleveland CBD revitalisation project has been destroyed by vandals, causing more than $1000 in damage.
Piano repairer Dan Ling of Alexandra Hills who gave the restored piano to the community said he was furious about the damage.
Mr Ling said when he gave the piano to Redland City Council he and a mate offered to build a cradle upon which the instrument would sit.
This would have allowed it to be easily wheeled in and out of the Cleveland Library building outside which it sat.
Instead it remained outdoors unprotected opposite the Cleveland Sands Hotel.
Mr Ling said a council officer told him that council would ensure the piano was mounted on a frame to allow it to be moved and a men’s shed would do the job.
“Nothing ever happened, of course,” he said. “They even told me there would have to be brakes on the wheels and I made a couple of trips to Bunnings pricing stuff,” he said.
Mr Ling said the vandals had snapped all 85 hammers – the parts which strike the strings when the keys are played.
“This is really nasty,” he said. “It’s orchestrated because the amount of damage shows they would have been at it for a while.
“It’s pretty hurtful. I also feel sorry for the lady who spent hours painting the wonderful mural all over it.”
Acting Mayor Wendy Boglary said council opted to leave the piano in place for workplace health and safety reasons.
“Even if the piano was made mobile it still weighs in excess of 200 kilograms and having two staff members move the piano twice a day is not practical,” she said.
“Council’s view remains that it is too heavy to be regularly moved.”
Cr Boglary said she was disappointed by the vandalism and council would explore opportunities to replace the piano and improve security, including securing the top and locking the keyboard at night.
A spokesperson said council had cameras in place at the entrance to the library but these did not cover the area in which the piano was situated.
Although council acknowledged the vandalism was a setback, it was committed to initiatives like the community piano, which was based on an international program know as “Play Me, I’m Yours”.
“This global initiative has distributed 1700 pianos worldwide in more than 55 cities,” she said.
“The program has pianos in public parks, markets and train stations including Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Toowoomba.”
Police said the issue had not been reported.
Mr Ling said he was prepared to repair the piano as soon as council would deliver it to him.
“I’m happy to repair it and it should be fixed. You don’t want to send a message to these vandals, saying they had won.”
Mr Ling said the vandalism was likely teenagers seen hanging around the area or possibly drunks coming out of the hotel opposite.
The spokesperson said the piano was in place for more than four months and there had been no destruction, vandalism, litter or graffiti. It had been looked after and loved by the community.
“There have been people lined up to play, some of them for the first time (and) some very accomplished players,” she said.