Palace officials: Damage to Iolani Palace ‘senseless’

Plywood now covers the door where the glass was broken. Honolulu police say around 8 a.m. Saturday, a woman kicked the glass door in and shattered it.

Palace officials can’t understand why.

“I could not believe that somebody would intentionally break the glass or kick it in which is what the person did,” said Kippen De Alba Chu of the Friends of Iolani Palace.

The 21-year-old woman was with a man who is 30-years old. De Alba Chu says she tried to kick the central doors first.

“Those glass doors were actually broken in the 90s. And so that’s replacement, I guess because it’s replacement, they’re stronger than the original,” De Alba Chu said. “So because that didn’t happen, she moved to the left front door and that’s the one she was able to shatter.”

He says both went inside the palace, but guards caught them shortly after they entered. They were later arrested for criminal trespassing and criminal property damage. Both suspects were also arrested on multiple warrants.

De Alba Chu says an original part of he palace is forever lost.

“These were ordered from England when Iolani Palace was being constructed they were etched in San Francisco by an artist there, so that is original to 1882. So unfortunately, we can’t replace it,” De Alba Chu said.

The chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources says he will pursue not just criminal charges, but also civil fines.

“We’ll likely take the case to the land board for some monetary fine,” DLNR Chairman William Aila said. “Fines for damaging a historical or cultural site can be up to $10,000.”

Aila says he wants to send a strong message to anyone who purposely destroys a cultural site.

“This damage is damage to the soul of every Hawaiian. It’s irreplaceable. The best we can do is try to get the message out.” Aila said.

Related Story: Vandals damage irreplaceable door at Iolani Palace

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