A few bad seeds. That's all it took to mar a festival of contemporary art in Kazakhstan's "city of apples," Almaty.
Organizers of ArtBatFest-2012 were disappointed this morning to discover that vandals had heavily damaged at least seven of the outdoor installations, all of them devoted to this year's theme, "The Beginning of the World."
Curators have vowed that the damaged artwork -- which artists had spent months preparing -- will be restored and returned to view.
But it's a blow to the central premise of the three-year-old event, which is to turn downtown Almaty for a few weeks into the site of "a holiday for sculptors, photographers, actors, painters, musicians...[and] thousands of grateful and inspired citizens."
The exhibition features works by artists from Georgia, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
They are on display in downtown parks and squares, including the busy Arbat plaza, as well as on building facades and in galleries and shopping malls.
ArtBatFest's organizers say the damaged pieces were by artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and the Artgroup5 collective
Tengrinews has a gallery of the vandalized installations here
Now, guards have been assigned to keep an eye on the installations around the clock through the end of the festival on June 30.