Man charged with hate-motivated mischief at AGO

Anti-Semitic graffiti was located on the front of the sculpture.

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Arrest made in investigation of anti-Semitic graffiti at Art Gallery of Ontario

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At 6:15 a.m. on July 13, Toronto police said a man was seen using white spray paint to deface the “Couch Monster” sculpture outside the northeast corner of the AGO in the Dundas St W. and McCaul St. areas.

Anti-Semitic graffiti was located on the front of the sculpture, by artist Brian Jungen. The gallery’s first public art commission, the AGO claims the large-scale bronze work is an « elephant figure from discarded leather sofas ».

Police were called to investigate about 12 hours later.

Officers have consulted with the Hate Crimes Unit and police say the matter is being treated as an alleged hate-motivated offence.

Footage of a suspect was released on July 15 and that day, police say, Paul Côté, 53, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with mischief – property damage under $5,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).


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