Protesters Have Built Another Elk Statue Downtown After the Previous One Was Taken by Patriot Prayer

And if the new elk is stolen or damaged, they plan to rebuild it again.

Protesters start a bonfire on the former site of the elk statue on July 16, 2020. (Alex Wittwer)

The Elk has been resurrected—though not the actual, 120-year-old bronze statue that was removed from downtown over the summer.

Instead, it's another makeshift monument Portland anti-fascists built to replace it.

Last night, protesters convened between Chapman and Lownsdale squares and built a second ad hoc Cervus canadensis. The new elk replaces a previous statue installed by protesters, which was removed four days earlier by members of Patriot Prayer.

The original Elk has become an unexpected but enduring fixation of the Portland protests. Local affinity groups published a love letter to the statue before it was removed in July after fires lit by protesters damaged its base. A warped metal elk, created by an unknown artist and unofficially dubbed the "nightmare elk," was put in its place and soon surrounded by signs supporting Black Lives Matter.

Related: Portland Architecture Blog Visits the Elk Statue in Storage, Confirms It Wasn't Actually Destroyed by Protesters.

Then, early last Friday morning, the statue was removed by members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, who took credit for the missing statue on social media.

It only took a few days for yet another elk to be built. Last night, the anonymous Twitter account Portland Elk put out a call for protesters to gather downtown. In a few hours, the group that arrived constructed the elk's newest incarnation out of duct tape, branches and wood pallets, journalist Justin Yau first reported:

According to the person who runs the Portland Elk social media accounts, who spoke to WW anonymously, several dozen community members showed up to construct the new artwork. And if the new elk is stolen or damaged, they plan to rebuild it again.

"I fully expect the wooden elk to be damaged, removed or burned," they said. "Its fate is not relevant to me. Last night was so much more about the act of building than the resulting construction."

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