Seattle Times photographer Alan Berner went to Peace Park near the north end of the University Bridge Wednesday, and saw that the Sadako Sasaki statue there was missing an arm.
It was the second time the statue of Sadako — who was 12 when she died of leukemia a decade after an atomic bomb fell on her home in Hiroshima in 1945 — had been vandalized; the other arm was sawed off and thrown into the ship canal in 2003, according to the city.
Berner reported the vandalism to the city’s parks department, which issued a news release asking anyone with information to call police.
But in the office, Berner wondered aloud whether the arm might have been tossed down a hill into a wooded area just below the park. He called the parks department to ask if anyone had looked, then went back to the park.
Berner returned a short time later toting the arm, which was returned to the city this afternoon.
Sadako has become a symbol for peace and of young, innocent victims of war. The statue is often visited by schoolchildren, who decorate it with origami cranes.