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Thief strikes at interactive city art exhibit

Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston was among the first to try out the “Pulse of the City” exhibit at Christopher Columbus Park in the city’s North End Friday. “Our heart’s been stolen,’’ Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokeswoman, said after the theft of the device.

city of boston

Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston was among the first to try out the “Pulse of the City” exhibit at Christopher Columbus Park in the city’s North End Friday. “Our heart’s been stolen,’’ Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokeswoman, said after the theft of the device.

Someone has stolen the heart of the city.

A bulbous heart, the centerpiece of a public interactive art exhibit called the “Pulse of the City,” was taken from Christopher Columbus Park in the North End just over a day after its installation, police and city officials said.

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The art piece allows pedestrians to hear their pulse to a series of musical tunes, and police said a culprit, with obviously no heart, swiped the item at some point between 1 and 7 a.m. Saturday. Officer David Estrada, a Boston police spokesman, said there are no suspects.

“It’s an interactive art installation that not only promotes public art, but wellness,” said Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “The mayor unveiled it on Friday. This is about getting people to understand that public art, especially interactive art, is important to the vibrancy of our city.”

It will cost approximately $5,000 to replace the heart, Joyce said.

No immediate transplants were available.

One of the project’s developers, Chris Osgood, 36, said the team will work with designer George Zisiadis to better secure the installation, as well as four replicas throughout the city.

According to Osgood, the installations are able to track the number of users and about 500 people have engaged with the five art pieces since Friday.

“They’re a nice example of what the mayor means by complete streets,” said Osgood.

“The mayor has often talked about how we need to design our streets for far more. This is just an engaging piece of pedestrian-focused art, and we are excited to have all five pieces back for people to use.”

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at alyssa.creamer@globe.com.
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