Value in artistry, not the metal - sculptor

Last updated 12:00 05/05/2014

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The Palmerston North maker of a missing 120kg bronze sculpture says he hopes the thieves realise it is not worth much in scrap metal.

Police have asked the public and art dealers to keep an eye out for the $65,000 sculpture, which was taken from the public walkway between Victoria St and Chews Lane in Wellington some time before March 18.

Renowned sculptor Paul Dibble designed and constructed the 2 metre-tall work over a six-month period 10 years ago. He told the Manawatu Standard that if it had been destroyed by those who took it, it would never be made again.

"It's not owned by me or anything so it doesn't affect me too much but it's a little frustrating because you spend a lot of energy making them," Dibble said.

"I was looking at it on TV and thinking how great it looked."

Dibble said there was still hope that it would be returned in one piece because the price of bronze was so low.

"I think it's gone from something like $16 [a kilogram] to $6 so it's not worth anything for scrap.

"Hopefully they realise that and it turns up somewhere."

As of yesterday morning the sculpture was still missing. Inquiries with auction houses and art dealers had so far turned up nothing, police said.

"It is all a bit of a mystery as the sculpture is almost 2m tall and weighs around 120kg so it would have taken some planning to remove without anyone noticing," Detective Constable Bryan Miller said.

"It is too heavy for most people to lift so whoever has taken it would have had to use a trolley or something else to move it," he said.

Anyone with any information should contact Wellington police on (04) 381 2000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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