chris cornell
[Photo by: Paul Lorkowski]

Vicky Cornell has taken to Instagram to clear rumors regarding the vandalism of late husband Chris Cornell’s statue.

At approximately 6 a.m. PST on Thursday, the bronze statue of the Soundgarden frontman was defaced with white paint. The memorial was commissioned by his family as a donation to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. Executed by artist Nick Marra and unveiled in October 2018, it depicts Cornell playing a Gibson guitar

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Vicky acknowledged the act in an Instagram post Friday, stating that she was “heartbroken to learn of the [vandalism].” In the post, she noted that it was a targeted threat unrelated to local riots and protests. She went on to thank fans who had come together Thursday night to clean the mess.

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My children and I were heartbroken to learn of the vandalization of Chris’s statue at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. The statue is not only art, but a tribute to Chris, his incomparable musical legacy and everything that he stood for. It represents Chris, who is beloved not only in Seattle, but worldwide. In the face of this hate and destruction ( and I want to be clear, this was not in the course of riots or protests. It was a threat that was carried out by a single disturbed individual at 6am in an attempt to besmirch Chris’s legacy). Im so grateful to the fans who stood up to support and showed such immense love- after hearing about it, they made their way there in the middle of the night with supplies and tried to clean it up. When we were told about it today I cried, my kids cried-your gesture was a reminder of how much more good there is out there and how you the fans show up for our beloved Chris. No matter what, ‘you’re never far away… ‘ thank you. The statue will be restored. Hate will not win. CHRIS IS SEATTLE’S SON forever… Thank you Seattle and @mopopseattle #lovealwayswins #chriscornell Forever 🖤

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On Monday, she provided further clarity in a post made to Chris Cornell’s Instagram account. According to her statement, the narrative regarding the involvement of “Save the Children” protesters was misinformed.

The “Save the Children” movement by QAnon aims to raise awareness over child trafficking. It has gained traction in recent weeks, motivating over 200 events across the country

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“I know the news of the vandalism was as heartbreaking to many of you as it was to our family, so I wanted to share this with you and clarify the misinformation that continues to spread online about supposed rioters and ‘save the children’ [protesters] being responsible for this senseless based on [an] image being circulated showing writing on the sidewalk,” she states.

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I know the news of the vandalism was as heartbreaking to many of you as it was to our family. So I wanted to share this with you and clarify the misinformation that continues to be spread online about supposed rioters and “save the children” protestors being responsible for this senseless based on a image being circulated showing writing on the sidewalk … A few days prior to the vandalism, someone wrote in sidewalk chalk “Save the Children” in front of the statue. It rained the night before. Consequently, by Thursday AM when the vandalism occurred, much of the chalk writing was gone leaving only the words “Children.” Sadly, the same accounts involved in spreading this false narrative are the very ones who previously “liked” posts wishing/encouraging that someone would deface Chris’ statue. It is heartbreaking to think that anyone would wish for such a senseless act. It is equally upsetting to now see these same people falsely blaming others. We would appreciate it if those accounts would stop spreading misinformation and fomenting discord, as it tarnishes Chris’ legacy, masks the truth, and hurts those who Chris loved as well as Chris’ true fans – @vickycornell #seattlesson #lovealwayswins

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She proceeds to discredit the “false narrative,” which cites the presence of “Save the Children” written in chalk near the statue. Contrary to the claims being made by various accounts, the writing had been there for a few days prior to the vandalism. It had mostly washed away by Thursday.

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Vicky concludes by revealing an interesting connection between the sources of the rumors and their previous social media activity.

“Sadly, the same accounts involved in spreading this false narrative are the very ones who previously ‘liked’ posts wishing/encouraging that someone would deface Chris’ statue,” she writes. “We would appreciate it if those accounts would stop spreading misinformation and fomenting discord, as it tarnishes Chris’ legacy, masks the truth and hurts those who Chris loved as well as Chris’ true fans.” 

As of Thursday, museum officials were assessing damage and planning the restoration of the memorial. The scope and timeline of required efforts has not yet been provided.