Yukon Seasons artist 'very pleased' to see stolen work again

A former Yukon artist now living in B.C. said one of his sculptures that was stolen from a Whitehorse facility last fall, and returned seven months later, can be restored and possibly put on display again.

A former Yukon artist said one of his sculptures that was stolen from a Whitehorse facility last fall — and returned seven months later — can be repaired and possibly put on display again.

Shane Wilson had not seen Yukon Seasons, his moose skull and antler carving, since it went missing in September 2007 from the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse. ((Courtesy of Shane Wilson))
Shane Wilson had not seen Yukon Seasons, a $50,000 carved moose skull and antler sculpture, since it went missing from Whitehorse's Canada Games Centre in September 2007.

An anonymous person returned the sculpture to Whitehorse RCMP in April. Wilson, who moved to British Columbia last year, was in Whitehorse on Wednesday to examine damage done to the piece while it was missing.

"I was very pleased today when walking in," Wilson told CBC News in an interview Wednesday, after being reunited with Yukon Seasons.

"There's some wear and tear on the upper surface where the carving is … a bit of mould growth, yellowing," he said, adding that a piece of an antler was broken off during the robbery.

"But overall, I was very pleased," he said. "It's intact."

Wilson said he believes Yukon Seasons can be restored. A government heritage conservator will try to get rid of the mould, deal with the yellowing and try to glue on the piece that broke off, he said.

"It won't be a perfect fix, but it will be there and people can see it, and it'll just become part of the story of the piece itself," he said.

As for whether it'll be back on display at the Whitehorse centre again, Wilson said he didn't know if that has been decided yet.

"But I hope so," he said. "That was the place that was chosen initially for it. I see no reason why it shouldn't go back there."

Wilson had donated the work — an entire moose skull and antler set with northern imagery carved into it — to the Yukon's permanent art collection.

It was put on display at the Canada Games Centre, where it vanished on Sept. 15 during an early-morning power outage.

On Tuesday, Wilson was in Haines Junction to unveil 14 new bronze sculptures at the St. Elias convention centre.

"It's 14 pieces, skulls, that I've enhanced and designed, and then I applied a colour to or a patina to [it]," he said of his latest work.

"As a collection, it represents several of the different animals from the Yukon, as well as people."