Years of vandalism to glass lites at the iconic Peace Bridge in Calgary have prompted the city to take creative steps to stop the destruction.

One such effort is a new campaign called “Vandalism Gallery.” The gallery features several hanging works of art that give off the appearance of being “vandalized.” The campaign hopes to reinforce the notion that the Peace Bridge is not only just a bridge, but a work of art and an iconic landmark, the city said.

“In recent years, we have seen an increase in vandalism to the Peace Bridge’s glass panels, mainly from people throwing rocks at the bridge from the east riverbed,” said Charmaine Buhler, the Peace Bridge maintenance manager. “These incidents tend to increase in the summer months, so we wanted to do something to raise awareness and encourage people to look after this piece of art.”

According to city officials, the gallery is one piece of a larger effort to decrease vandalism at the bridge. Additional efforts include increased security patrols, security cameras and new legal steps designed to recover the cost of damages.

“By creating a gallery of vandalized artwork on the Peace Bridge, we’ll remind the people who use it, and live in the neighborhood, that artwork is something to be admired, not vandalized,” Buhler said. “We are also hoping it will encourage people to report suspicious behavior and vandalism-in-progress to police.”

The damage to the bridge’s glass lites cost the city around $80,000 per year in removal and replacement costs, the city said. That cost does not include the price of the lites themselves.

“At the end of the day, vandalism to the bridge costs us all and it is unnecessarily expensive,” Buhler said. “So, we are really hoping this campaign will decrease these incidents of vandalism and increase reporting.”