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No leads after expensive art display vandalized outside Maplewood bookstore

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MAPLEWOOD, MO (KPLR) - Repairs will run at least $1,000 for an art display vandalized outside a Maplewood bookstore.

Someone tore apart “Words Into Dreams,” a large installation created by local artists S. Jewell S. McGhee and Nikki Leeper.

“I got a phone call that it was vandalized. And I came out. And the head and the body was pulled over. And the books were kind of strewn over the ground. And the arms were off,” McGhee said.

McGhee described the installation as a community art piece.

“It’s based on Marie Antoinette, with her beautiful headdress, and her giant dresses. And so, it had a bookshelf in the middle of the dresses. It has sculptures of the stories popping out of them.”

It cost nearly $4,000 to create the piece, which had been on display outside the The Book House on 7300 block of Manchester for nearly a year.

It is unclear who damaged the piece in March.

“It was just heartbreaking,” The Book House owner Michelle Barron said.” I can’t even understand why somebody would do something like that.”

The independent bookstore carries new and used books, as well as backlisted, rare, collectible and unusual items.

Local artists’ work is featured throughout the store.

Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 29. The Book House will be featuring all-day events and activities.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the cost of repairing the vandalized display. For more information, visit

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