The Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts is asking for the public’s help after its bronze heritage plaque was stolen this week.

Owner Patrick McDonald said he filed a police report after they noticed the plaque missing on Friday.

The heritage plaque describes the Irish origins of Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood in the 1890s. The Saint Brigid’s Church, which was closed down before it was turned into an arts centre, was a hub of the Irish community, according to McDonald.

McDonald said the plaque was hidden from view and bolted into the stone wall. He does not know why it was taken, as it would not have much value as scrap metal, he believes.

“The value is, obviously, the emotional connection with the building itself, but also the value of trying to put something like that back up again,” said McDonald.

“It was a bronze plaque that would be very expensive to refabricate and unlikely to get done.”

McDonald also said the centre is willing to offer a small cash reward if someone returned the plaque. McDonald said anyone with information regarding the stolen plaque should contact police or Saint Brigid's.