Statue of lauded rocker Chris Cornell vandalized in Seattle

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FILE – In this May 19, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio. Soundgarden are among the 16 acts nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 class. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — A life-sized statue of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has been vandalized outside the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

Museum officials told The Seattle Times that the statue was covered with white paint or a similar substance on Thursday.

The damage is being assessed and the statue will be restored, museum officials said.

“We are deeply pained by this act targeting the memory of a beloved artist in Seattle and around the world,” museum officials said in a statement.

Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement with Seattle-based Soundgarden group that won critical and commercial acclaim.

Cornell killed himself in 2017 following a performance in Detroit. He was 52.

The statue was commissioned by his wife, Vicky Cornell, and unveiled in 2018. It shows the singer performing with his Gibson guitar.

A life-size, bronze statue of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell stands outside the Museum of Pop Culture a day after its unveiling, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Seattle. Cornell’s wife, Vicky Cornell, commissioned the piece and donated it to the museum at the Seattle Center. The work, by artist Nick Marra, depicts Cornell in one of his typical poses with his signature boots, dog tag and long hair. Cornell died in May 2017 at 52. His death was ruled a suicide. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In an Instagram post, Vicky Cornell wrote that she and her children were “heartbroken” by the vandalism.

“The statue is not only art, but a tribute to Chris, his incomparable musical legacy and everything that he stood for.”

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