Surveillance footage of the incident taken on August 12, 2019 at 11 p.m. showed two teenage girls at the display surrounded by a transparent barrier.
One of them was seen slamming the sculpture with a large cushion and eventually scaling the partition and knocking the head off of one of the figures while the other suspect filmed her.
The Honolulu Police Department confirmed a 15-year-old suspect was charged with criminal property damage.
Authorities also verified she was a Hawaii resident.
After the initial arrest, a second suspect, a 17-year-old, was taken into custody under suspicion of second-degree criminal property damage.
The names of the two teens involved were not disclosed since they were minors.
Here is a clip from the surveillance footage.
The destroyed art display inside the hotel represented two keiki symbolizing Hawaii's children during the Makahiki season.
The outlet reported the act of destruction left an estimated $1,500 worth of damages.
Twitter was appalled.
Following the incident, hotel staff obscured the defaced art installation by adorning it with multiple leis as a symbolic gesture until an artist could return to fix the damage.
The sand sculpture was created in mid-July 2019 by Sandsational Sand Sculptures–a Florida-based artist collective.
One of the artists from the group, Thomas Koet, returned to Hawaii to restore the sculpture to its original state.
Before the sand sculpture was restored, a visitor named Bruce shared his observations on the ruined display.
He told KHON2:
“I had noticed that they put some leis where the head used to be. I thought that was a decent compromise, but it clearly doesn’t look like it should."
“It’s amazing how much effort you know probably went into it and how little it took to destroy it."
Fresher Live noted the collaborative effort of authorities and hotel staff to temporarily fix the damage served as a reminder of the importance of preserving cherished cultural works of art.