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Amused museum staff curious who ‘defaced’ statue with face mask

Statue of Pedro Menendez de Aviles in front of Lightner Museum now has face mask

Someone put a face mask on the statue of St. Augustine founder Pedro Menendez de Aviles outside the Lightner Museum. (Leann Walker/WJXT)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The staff at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine is wondering who decided to protect the city's founder from catching coronavirus.

The staff discovered the statue of Pedro Menendez de Aviles in front of the museum building, which also serves as St. Augustine’s City Hall, had been defaced (so to speak) this week. Someone adorned it with a face mask.

Ray Eme, the associate director for the Lightner Museum, told News4Jax the staff got a kick out of it when they spotted the mask.

It's unclear if it was done as a prank or a deeper statement, but the museum staff will be leaving the mask in place for at least the next week or so. They feel it actually sends the right message right now -- everyone should be taking steps to protect themselves and others during the pandemic.

Eme said the statute is owned by the city, but the museum staff checked and no one in the city offices is responsible either.

He said the person won’t be in trouble because “the city has bigger things to worry about,” but the museum staff is curious to know who did it. If you have any information, you can call the museum at 904-824-2874.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.