Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Top half of vandalized downtown sculpture has been found

January 20, 2005

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First, the midgets. Now, "Pollywiggle."

Police announced today that sometime in recent days, a vandal stole the top half of "Pollywiggle," a 250-pound steel sculpture at Ninth and Massachusetts streets.

The statue resembling an abstract tadpole, by Cedar Falls, Iowa. sculptor Bounnak Thammavong, has been on loan to the city since last summer as part of the 17th annual Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition.

Another work in the exhibition, "Self Portrait as a Midget," had to be moved from its spot on Massachusetts Street last summer after being damaged by vandals and curious children.

Arts commissioner Jeff Ridgway appealed to the public to help find "Pollywiggle." The artist doesn't want names. He just wants it back, Ridgway said.

The work is valued at $8,000, but the city has insured it for only $5,000, Ridgway said.

Ridgway said anyone who has seen the missing piece of the sculpture or who has information about it can call his home anonymously at 749-7664 or the Lawrence Arts Center at 843-2787.

Or, they can just bring it back and leave it in his yard at 1116 Highland Dr.

Update

The hunt for "Pollywiggle", an abstract-tadpole sculpture reported stolen today from Ninth and Massachusetts Streets, has been called off.

About five hours after a breaking news report on ljworld.com asked for the public's help finding the sculpture, it arrived on the front porch of an acquaintance of arts commissioner Jeff Ridgway.

"It's wrapped up in a ratty old blanket duct-taped at both ends," Ridgway said. "It seems to be in one piece."

The $8,000 statue, by Cedar Falls, Iowa sculptor Bounnak Thammavong, has been on loan to the city since last summer as part of the 17th annual Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition.

It disappeared sometime around New Year's Eve but wasn't reported stolen immediately because people who noticed it was missing thought it might have been removed for maintenance, police said.

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