The 9/11 memorial sculpture in Heisler Park has been vandalized.
Artist Jorg Dubin discovered the damage to "Semper Memento" on March 9 when he went to polish the sphere that sits in the middle of the sculpture, according to police.
Dubin reported three small dents in the sphere and some surface scratches.
"The dents appear to have been made with a pointed metal object with some force as the metal surface is also gouged at the point of impact," Dubin said in his report.
Two of the dents appear near the top on the plaque side of the sphere; the other is about halfway down on the left, according to the report.
"All this damage was not there the last time I cleaned the sphere about two weeks ago," Dubin said in the report. "This had to be intentional as the surface of the sphere is very hard and would require some force to damage it."
Nothing unusual was seen or heard near the memorial prior to the incident, Lt. Jason Kravetz said.
The damage is estimated at $4,000.
Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl said the dents are minor.
"It looks a bit scruffy — it's not immaculate," she said.
Poeschl added that Dubin suggested holding off on repairs and waiting to see if anything else happened to the sculpture.
"At a future date, we will look at doing a repair. The Arts Commission has in its budget funds for restoration," she said.
"When it comes to repairs, we would always go to the artist first."
Dubin said he believes this was a random act.
"It is hard to imagine anyone taking out any ire toward me on this piece, which means so much to the community," he said in an email to the Coastline Pilot. "It is not only a big disappointment to myself but to Laguna Beach as a whole. People in town are very concerned about this happening, but I don't think it had anything to do with me personally."
The sculpture was dedicated at Heisler Park in September to remember the 9/11 attacks. It features two beams from the fallen twin towers, and the base is a pentagon-shaped field of grass, recognizing the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.