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Simon Statue Damaged Slightly

The $60,000 statue is being repaired after being removed by vandals from its Lake Anne bench last week.

When pranksters removed the $60,000 bronze Robert Simon statue from its Lake Anne bench last week, they slightly damaged the Reston icon.

The 150-pound statue of Reston's founder was unbolted from its bench and placed partially in the lake beneath a tree on Saturday, Oct. 23. In the course of removing it from the bench, the statue's connectors were damaged.

The damages to the statue's connectors will cost "several hundred dollars" to fix, said Chuck Veatch, of the Reston Historic Trust, the statue's owner.

"It's a shame this happened," he said.

The repairs should be completed in the coming days and the statue will be replaced on its bench soon, Veatch said.

To ensure the prank does not become a regular occurrence, the statue is being fastened more securely to its resting spot, Veatch said.

"Hopefully it'll prevent this from ever happening again," he said.

The potential for extensive damage was fairly high because moving the statue can jostle its 20 interconnected parts. Veatch said Reston was lucky the statue was not damaged more than it was.

The statue was unveiled at the community's first Founder's Day celebration last April.

Fairfax County police are skeptical they will find the culprits, said Mary Mulrenan, an FCPD spokeswoman.

"It was a fairly harmless prank, but we don't want to encourage anyone to try this again," she said. "You could get in a lot of trouble."