By Christin Ayers

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — A public piano that students at UC Berkeley installed on Cal’s main thoroughfare, Sproul Plaza, appears to have been destroyed by vandals.

UC Berkeley junior, Daniel Geng came up with the idea for the piano after seeing pianos like it in downtown Denver. He and his classmate, junior Josh Yurtsever, raised money for the instrument on GoFundMe and installed it in May.

They told KPIX 5 that the piano seemed to bring people together.

“I once even saw a guy playing the piano and a lady sing with him,” said Geng. “They had never met before.”

“I just was happy to see people playing it always when I was walking to class,” Yurtsever said.

But the music would only last for about six months. After Thanksgiving break, Yurtsever discovered what appeared to be the work of a vandal—the piano’s white keys damaged and some of the black keys missing.

“I was truly disheartened,” Yurtsever said.

So far, the apparent vandal has not been identified.

“The fact that somebody would do this—inexplicable to me. Like, why? What benefit do you get from it?” asked UC Berkeley student Alvin Fan.

“It’s a shame that it’s broken,” student Melanie Gee lamented.

Geng and Yurtsever said they do have plans to try to raise money to replace the piano, possibly as early as January.

“I mean, we could do it. We have 30,000 students. If everyone donates one cent, one cent!” exclaimed Yurtsever.

Christin Ayers


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