'Iolani Palace vandals destroy original glass work

By Paula Akana
Published On: Feb 10 2014 06:47:00 PM HST

An original glass window more than 130 years old is destroyed Honolulu. Vandalism at the palace is rare, but not unheard of. Now questions are rising whether security will change.


Police are investigating at 'Iolani Palace after a break-in that destroyed a 130-year-old glass window.

Click here to watch Paula Akana's story.

Vandalism at the palace is rare, but not unheard of. Still, some said security is not likely to change much.

On Sunday a couple allegedly kicked in the 130-year-old glass. The tint on the windows kept the glass from falling, but the door popped open.

"The fact that our three guards were on this immediately once the front door was breached, the alarm sounded, they followed their emergency procedures, isolated the couple very quickly and got them out of the palace as soon as possible," said Kippen de Alba Chu, 'Iolani Palace executive director.

On an adjacent door investigators found what could be one of the suspect's footprints. They believe the suspects tried to kick in that window first, but it didn't break.

That's because it was replaced 30 years ago following a previous act of vandalism.

De Alba Chu said the security in place today was installed as a result of the 1984 incident. He says there is not much more they can do.

"It's a fine balance between community access and preservation," he said. "Other than that we can put bars on the windows. It wouldn't look like 'Iolani Palace, and that's now what King Kalakaua wanted."

'Iolani Palace curator Heather Diamond is now on the hunt for the right replacement for the broken window.

In 1984 an international search took nearly four years.

"It took a very long time to find the right kind of glass, the right color, the glass that you know was crystal with high lead content, so this original glass is not easy to find," she said.

Former curator Jim Bartels kept a detailed record of that search.

Diamond found two companies that were instrumental. "I found out both of the companies are still in existence, but we need to go back and see if the craftsmen are still around," Diamond said.

Palace officials will be re-examining the 130-year-old locks on the doors.

They have no idea how much it will cost to replace the glass.

The cost of the locks was $13,000 30 years ago.

Police arrested two people in connection with the case.

Koa Alii Keaulana and Drew Paahao were charged in connection with outstanding warrants in other cases. They were released pending further investigation in the 'Iolani Palace vandalism case.

PHOTOS: Vandalism at 'Iolani Palace

Click here to see the damage at the 'Iolani Palace.


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