The oystercatcher, a driftwood animal created by artist Paul Lewis, was one of the four pieces stolen from where it sat at Esquimalt Lagoon. (Photo courtesy of Paul Lewis)

The oystercatcher, a driftwood animal created by artist Paul Lewis, was one of the four pieces stolen from where it sat at Esquimalt Lagoon. (Photo courtesy of Paul Lewis)

Esquimalt Lagoon driftwood art stolen, vandalized

Artist Paul Lewis has already repaired two of the pieces in Colwood

Some of the driftwood beach art pieces at Esquimalt Lagoon have been defiled, but artist Paul Lewis is still in good spirits.

Lewis received six messages Wednesday morning from people who had been down on the beach and noticed some of the sculptures were missing.

“I was hoping it wasn’t true,” he said, but added, “I’m glad it was just those few, they are easy to replace.”

The hummingbird, baby osprey and oystercatcher were stolen while the cormorants’ head was ripped off and the body was stolen.

Lewis created the animals that line Ocean Boulevard in Colwood from driftwood and scraps on the beach.

Read More: Langford man creates animals out of driftwood at Esquimalt Lagoon

He went down Wednesday afternoon to survey the damage and started to build his driftwood sculptures back up again. He fixed the cormorant and then he built a new hummingbird in an hour’s time. He took the oystercatcher apart and he still needs to make a new baby osprey. In all, he estimates it to be about 10 hours of work to repair the damage and rebuild.

He figures it was high school students who decided to take home a trophy as the art that was damaged was all in a row in a specific area of the beach.

“I’m sure these birds are just pickings for grad pranks,” he added.

Prior to this happening, he noted there had been people sleeping in their cars at the lagoon to make sure nothing happened to the artwork.

But this is just one bad thing that has happened to the art display and hundreds of people are enjoying them. Lewis gets 10 to 15 messages per day from locals or people travelling through the area, thanking him for creating unique artwork. “To me, it makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

Lewis is hoping people will be more vigilant and he asked that if anyone sees the birds that were stolen report it to police.


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lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

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