It was a sight to give anyone a “cow-niption”: a poster desperately seeking a life-size fiberglass “peace” bovine that recently disappeared from its grazing spot in front of Seth Low Intermediate School.
“Missing,” the poster found peppered around the Gravesend School on Avenue P and west 12th Street explained, sparking a mystery that has stymied some of the best minds at Seth Low.
“I don’t know how this happened,” said principal Denise Levinsky, who said that cow, an entry in the 2000 CowParade Art Project named Sum NY (the project’s theme being the word “peace” sums up New York), was last seen happily greeting pedestrians behind the school gates back on January 10. Then, one morning, Sum NY was gone; the platform it was standing on the only thing left behind.
But the question is: Why? We here at Courier Life newspapers have a few ideas, but some of them may not be very savory: 1) Someone thought they should give peace a chance and helped it escape; 2) It was sick of all this long-haired hippie peace stuff and ran off to Staten Island to become a Republican; 3) The statue was diagnosed with mad cow disease and is currently undergoing a battery of tests in England or 4) We hate to say it — peace burgers, anyone?
While some are hoping that the peace cow has moved onto greener pastures, some think that bushwhackers made off with the bovine in the middle of the night, although whoever did it would have had to painstakingly unbolt the cow from its base and then carry the 98-pound piece of art for several yards before it could be lifted over a low gate.
No ransom demands have been made to the school, Levinsky assured us, explaining that the cow was welcomed by the community.
“We’re not being flippant when we say that grandmothers taking their children to Seth Low Park would walk across the street to look at it. Neighborhood children are crying because the cow is no longer there. It was part of the neighborhood.”
No one disputes that Sum NY was a peaceful soul. In fact, it had the word “peace” written in 17 different languages can be found peppered along its frame.
Sum NY was one of 500 original fiberglass cow casts painted over by artists and city students back in 2000. Like many of its brethren, Sum NY, which originally sported a jigsaw puzzle of city landmarks on its frame, was on display in Manhattan for ten weeks before the Seth Low PTA bought it and brought it to its home of ten years. It was repainted with 17 variations of peace in 2006.
“The eighth grade students who helped art teacher Deborah Glassman originally paint the cow “have already graduated college,” Levinsky noted, explaining how the cow was part of the school’s history.
As they continue their search for Sum NY, Levinsky and Glassman are also looking into replacing their unofficial mascot.
“It would be wonderful if somebody was kind enough to donate another cow or its equivalent,” Levinsky said. “We would gladly take on another project.”
Anyone with information about the missing cow can call the school at (718) 236-1344.