Police have recovered a 113-kilogram (240-pound) bronze sculpture that was pilfered from a West Side Vancouver gallery last week.
The piece, titled “After Marino Marini,” is worth about $24,000, and was carried away from the Petley Jones Gallery by a bold thief with a dolly on Nov. 4.
A photo of the statue sitting on the ground outside a pizza restaurant in Gastown posted to social media site Reddit on Wednesday was the first sign the statue had turned up.
“We got a phone call from [Global News] asking us about the post that came up on Reddit,” said Gallery manager Vesna Zaric.
“I looked into it and found the address, and [the gallery director] was prepared to grab a dolly and just rush over to Gastown.”
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Zaric said she called police, who told her they had the statue in their possession.
The photo of the sculpture was taken after police had found it inside a building and moved it outside on its way to a secure location, Zaric said.
“The sculpture has been recovered after the investigation by the Vancouver Police led to its location,” said Vancouver police spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed.
“No suspects are in custody and the investigation is progressing with charges to be recommended once the investigation is complete.”
Zaric said the recovery of the statue is a huge relief, as she’d feared it would be melted down for scrap.
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“I could be jumping right now,” she said. “There was a very disturbing fear that it would be destroyed and just that thought alone ate away at us for a number of days.”
The statue had been sitting outside the gallery at Granville Street and West 7th Avenue when it was purloined.
The gallery said it never imagined someone would be able to actually make off with the sculpture, owing to its immense weight and the fact it stands over a metre tall.
She said the jury is still out on whether they will return it to its original spot.
“Part of me would love to put it in the window inside to make sure that everyone can see it and that it is really safe,” said Zaric.
“On the other side, having it back where it was I think would be a statement of its own.”
Police are due to return the sculpture to the gallery on Friday.