British Columbia·Video

$24K bronze sculpture stolen from outside Vancouver gallery

A thief has made off with a 160-kilogram, $24,000 bronze statue that was on display outside the doorway of a Granville Street art gallery.

Security video shows a man wheeling 160-kg work of art away from Petley Jones Gallery on a dolly

A thief made off with a 400-pound (160-kilogram) bronze statue that was outside the front doors of the Petley Jones Gallery on Granville Street. (Petley Jones Gallery)

A thief has made off with a 160-kilogram, $24,000 bronze statue that was on display outside the doorway of a Granville Street art gallery.

Security video captured a white man wheeling a dolly to the front steps of Petley Jones Gallery at 5:23 a.m. Monday.

In the footage, the man disappears from view for a few minutes, then reappears dragging the heavy, metre-tall piece of art down the stairs before loading it on a dolly and rolling it away south on Granville Street toward 7th Avenue.

A second camera catches him going along 7th Avenue. A third camera at the back of the gallery then shows him turning north down the lane before disappearing.

The entire crime took less than three minutes.

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. 1:25

"I'm really shocked," said gallery manager Vesna Zaric. "It's been there for almost two years, and we've never had a problem with anyone attempting anything. Even when we tried moving it inside, we weren't able to move it."

The work, entitled After Marino Marini by local artist Fahri Aldin, is of an abstract horse and rider. 

"[Aldin] is ... extremely well regarded. This is a unique piece, there will never be one like it again," said Zaric.

It's the latest in a recent rash of valuable art thefts from galleries in the area, but Zaric says there's no way to know if the cases are connected.

The bronze egg in the Salvador Dali sculpture Space Venus was stolen in downtown Vancouver in June 2019. (Submitted by Susanna Strem)

"All of those are original pieces. It's a horrific idea to think that someone might melt it down for something else," she said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Petley Jones Gallery or police.

With files from Rafferty Baker

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