British Columbia

Police recover $24K bronze sculpture stolen from Vancouver gallery

The gallery's manager said she learned the exciting news when someone alerted her to a post on Reddit that showed a photo of the sculpture outside a Megabite Pizza. 

Manager of Petley Jones Gallery says she was beside herself after learning news through Reddit post

Reddit user u/halfandhafu came across the stolen statue while police were retrieving it from a Gastown SRO on Wednesday afternoon. (Reddit/halfandhafu)

A $24,000 bronze statue that was stolen from the doorway of a Vancouver art gallery last week has been found safe and will soon be returned.

Police retrieved the sculpture Wednesday from a building on Water Street, according to Vesna Zaric, the manager of the Petley Jones Gallery on Granville Street.

"I am beside myself. I just think it is such wonderful news that something beautiful has happened," Zaric told CBC.

The 160-kilogram abstract sculpture of a horse and rider was taken early in the morning of Nov. 4. Security cameras captured footage of a white man wheeling a dolly to the front steps of the gallery, then rolling the statue away.

Brazen thief steals $24,000 bronze statue from Vancouver art gallery

3 years ago
Duration 1:26
Security cameras capture a thief with a dolly removing a 160 kg work of art from the doorway of the Petley Jones Gallery on Granville Street.

Staff at the gallery had feared it would be melted down and sold for scrap.

Zaric said she learned the exciting news when someone alerted her to a post on Reddit that showed a photo of the sculpture outside a Megabite Pizza. 

She immediately called police, who told her the photo was taken while they were in the process of removing the stolen statue from the single-room occupancy hotel next door.

A Vancouver police spokesperson said that no suspects have been arrested and the investigation is still underway.

The work, entitled After Marino Marini by local artist Fahri Aldin, had been on display in front of the gallery for nearly two years before it was stolen, according to Zaric.

She hasn't had a chance to see the sculpture in person since it was recovered, but the photo on Reddit is promising.

"It looks just the same as it did before. Of course, bronze is a very sturdy, wonderful metal that actually thrives being in the elements. It only gets more beautiful through time," Zaric said.

She said she expects police to deliver the recovered statue to the gallery on Friday.

With files from Rafferty Baker

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