Vandals cause 'irreparable' damage to glass door at Iolani Palace

Published: Feb. 10, 2014 at 10:27 PM HST
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Image Courtesy: Iolani Palace
Image Courtesy: Iolani Palace
Drew Paahao
Drew Paahao
Koa Alii Keaulana
Koa Alii Keaulana

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wood covers the shattered glass in one of the doors at Iolani Palace -- a victim of vandalism.

"This act was utterly stupid," palace executive director Kippen de Alba Chu said.

A photograph shows the damage inflicted on the historic site early Saturday morning. Police arrested 21-year-old Drew Paahao and 30-year-old Koa Alii Keaulana and booked them on suspicion of trespassing and criminal property damage. The crime was caught on camera.

"Our guards reviewed the surveillance and they actually saw the girl kicking the door. And then of course there's video of them entering the grand hall once the door opened," de Alba Chu said.

The glass was an original piece ordered in England, etched in San Francisco, and installed in time for King David Kalakaua's grand opening of the palace in 1882.

"It's really unfortunate to lose something that was part of the original structure," curator Heather Diamond said.

"I would equate it to someone trying to deface King Kamehameha's statue," de Alba Chu said.

The palace suffered similar vandalism in the 1980s when someone threw a rock through windows in another door. The replacement glass was reinforced.

"Back in the 80s it took four years for us to replicate the windows that were damaged then," de Alba Chu said.

"They were $6,500 apiece," Diamond said. "I'm sure they're much much more than that now."

A chain and a sign are all that's used to keep people from ascending the palace steps. Staff frown on adding more barriers.

"We are hoping that the way we have it with our security team in place that this will be sufficient," de Alba Chu said. "You don't want to see bars on the windows of Iolani Palace.

The palace is looking for a company that can match the original glass, using the old method of acid etching.

In the surveillance video Paahao's also allegedly seen kicking at another door. She left behind a shoe print on the glass. Police released the pair pending investigation. The state is considering more charges.

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