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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 23, 2019 — A $2.8-million statue by Salvador Dali, Space Venus, had its golden egg stolen in the early hours Sunday morning. There is no value to the egg alone, according to the Chali-Rosso Gallery, which at great expense had placed the statue at the corner of West Hastings and Hornby. “This is the fifth large-scale sculpture we’ve brought to Vancouver at considerable expense,” the gallery said. “These statues have traveled to major cities all over the world, mostly without incident. It is extremely distressing this would happen here in Vancouver.” (Submitted photo) [PNG Merlin Archive]


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Golden eggs are tough to come by, which is likely why the goose that laid them is so famous.

It may also be why the golden egg that completed Salvador Dali’s Space Venus, the 12-foot green torso currently on display on downtown Vancouver, was stolen.

For months, Space Venus has been eggless as well as legless. But on Monday, the piece was restored to its formerly glory, as a bronze “replacement” egg was installed, allowing art lovers to once again view the piece in its completed state.

The original egg, a central component of the Dali sculpture installed at Hornby and West Hastings in May, was plundered just a month after it arrived, stunning Susanna Strem, the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery owner who brought the $2.8 million sculpture to the city.

“Imagine my reaction,” Strem told Postmedia in June. “I’m in shock that it could happen here in Vancouver.”

“It has been all around the world and nothing like this has happened.”

Following the brazen act of vandalism, Space Venus was slated for an early return to Europe. But instead, its stay in Vancouver has been extended into 2020 after local artist and Dali fan Richard Forbes contacted the gallery with an offer to cast a new egg, free of charge.

“To whom it may concern, If it is not returned or found, I will cast a new one for you,” Forbes said in an e-mail to the gallery in June.

As a thank-you, the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery will host a free exhibition of some of Forbes’ original sculptures, beginning November 15. 

The new, locally-made egg has now been installed on Space Venus, where it will remain until the sculpture goes home, at which point it will be replaced with an egg cast from Dali’s original mould.

The original golden egg has yet to be recovered. If retrieved, it could be reattached without causing further damage, Strem said.

hmooney@postmedia.com


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