Missing humanoid sculpture turns up in a parking lot
A tip from a motorist driving down River Road this morning led to the recovery of a 400-pound humanoid sculpture that went missing several months ago from an outdoor art exhibit atop the downtown levee.
The recovery of the statue came less than 24 hours after the Arts Council of Baton Rouge, which was responsible for the public art piece, partnered with Crime Stoppers of Baton Rouge to publicize its disappearance and ask the public for help.
Baton Rouge Police Department Lt. Don Stone, who serves as the Crime Stoppers coordinator, says a motorist called the Crime Stoppers tip line around 11 a.m. to report what appeared to be the missing statue lying in a vacant parking lot just off River Road near Oklahoma Street. BRPD officers arrived on the scene shortly after and retrieved the statue.
It’s unclear how long the statue had been in the parking lot, but Stone says it’s likely someone dumped it there overnight after seeing media reports Thursday.
“That’s a well-traveled area and you would think someone would have seen it over the past few months,” Stone says. “So it’s a good possibility that all the media attention last night prompted someone to say, ‘I gotta get rid of this thing.’”
The bronze-painted iron statue, worth an estimated $60,000, is one of 22 humanoid sculptures that are part of a traveling art exhibit on loan to the Arts Council. The exhibit by an Icelandic artist was installed in 2017 and is in the process of being packed up and moved to its next destination, the Meadows Art Museum in Shreveport.
Arts Council staffers noticed the missing piece, which had been bolted to a levee bench, in mid-July, though they suspect it was moved or stolen in March or April.
In a statement, the Arts Council says the statue suffered reversible vandalism; the organization also thanked the public for its help.
Crime Stoppers will pay a reward to the caller who spotted the statue. Stone says the organization does not disclose how much it pays.