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V.I.L.E. strikes again!
December 17, 2005 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Museum fears stolen statue worth $5 million will be sold for scrap Reminds me of that "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" game/tv show. I always thought it was stupid, because nobody ever steals big heavy landmarks.
posted by poorlydrawnplato (28 comments total)

 
Why in hell would somebody risk being caught stealing a multimillion-dollar statue just so they could sell it for scrap? What could they get for a bunch of melted bronze? A whole five hundred dollars?
posted by Afroblanco at 1:37 PM on December 17, 2005


Well, damn. Thought I would have started the carmensandiego tag, but no. Fine, buddhainabucket. Beat me to it. Be that way.
posted by poorlydrawnplato at 1:44 PM on December 17, 2005


Here's me being an uncultured clod: After looking at the statue in question - yech - melt it down, please.
posted by Dag Maggot at 2:04 PM on December 17, 2005


bronze == copper, scrap value of copper == ~$2/lb. That ugly sculpture had to weigh at least a ton...


Out where I live thieves are pulling up irrigation pump powerlines, for the copper. Kinda like Iraq.

More here.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:08 PM on December 17, 2005


I had no idea modern abstract statues were so expensive. I figured they were so ugly because people didn't want to spend a lot for good art...
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:43 PM on December 17, 2005


I was concerned, until I saw it happened in the United Kingdom. Flagged!
posted by Eideteker at 3:06 PM on December 17, 2005


Apparently sculpnapping is contagious: there've been two high-profile such thefts in NZ in the past two months. (Both were recovered.) So now, Wellington's big piece of Moore has its own 24-hour security guard after a tip that its theft was being planned.
posted by rob511 at 3:08 PM on December 17, 2005


Sounds like a case for Banacek.
posted by bobo123 at 3:13 PM on December 17, 2005


Hmm...I wonder how much the Eiffel Tower could get, sold for scrap...




Mwa. Mwa-ha.
posted by darkstar at 3:25 PM on December 17, 2005


Even at $2 a pound the thing couldn't be worth more then $10k for scrap. That's a lot but you'd have to be pretty desperate to pull of a hiest like that for that much.
posted by delmoi at 3:46 PM on December 17, 2005


Maybe they stole it to use as lawn furniture. At least that's what we used to do with the Henry Moore at my college.
posted by Opposite George at 3:48 PM on December 17, 2005


Huzzah on the Banacek shoutout!
posted by Opposite George at 3:48 PM on December 17, 2005


I wouldn't exactly describe it as a "heist."

Lifting that statue is probably the equivalent of about 800 garden birdbath's or other such crappy ornaments/bits of roof/pipes/fences. Art apart, it's a great prospect for someone wishing to sell metal. No mention of security in the article, but having frequented a few British scuplture gardens I can imagine this was candy from a baby compared to the gardens of most country houses. It's also fucking ugly and I hope it gets melted down.
posted by oxala at 5:21 PM on December 17, 2005


This is creepy--that's the second reference to the Carmen Sandiego show I've heard today. My friend had gone last night to a concert by a group called Rockapella(?) who he says did the theme song for that show.

"I believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things." -- Dirk Gently
posted by neuron at 5:42 PM on December 17, 2005


Last February, in the Ukraine, thieves stole for scrap an antique locomotive. Just a week before the locomotive went missing, thieves stole an 11-metre steel bridge in western Ukraine, isolating a local town in the process. It's a brand new world.
posted by tidecat at 6:05 PM on December 17, 2005


It wasn't on display at the time, it had been taken away to a yard to be cleaned or whatever.
posted by cillit bang at 6:16 PM on December 17, 2005


Looks like it WEIGHED 3 million pounds...
posted by Samizdata at 8:51 PM on December 17, 2005


I'm sad that nobody seems to appreciate Moore. IMHO It's a beautfiul piece.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:54 PM on December 17, 2005


gesamtkunstwerk, you are a sign of the end times.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:27 PM on December 17, 2005


oxala, even if it was easy to pull off, you still have to think about the consequences. Had they gotten caught, they would have been indicted for stealing a multimillion-dollar sculpture which some people no doubt think of as a national treasure. Even if you don't like the art, you have to think of the equity.

Besides, this was England, not the Ukraine.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2005


Appropriate headline over at Fark
Giant 4,000 pound bronze scupture of some kind of crushed spider stolen. Authorities fear that criminals will melt it down into some sort of random shape, decreasing it's value.
IMHO it's a piece of crap.
posted by Joeforking at 12:35 AM on December 18, 2005


Lotsa copper in the Statue of Liberty, too...
posted by darkstar at 2:38 AM on December 18, 2005


I'm sad that nobody seems to appreciate Moore. IMHO It's a beautfiul piece.

This is a pretty rad Moore scultpure.
posted by kenko at 10:14 AM on December 18, 2005


IMHO it's a piece of crap.

Yeah, but YHO doesn't mean much, since you haven't offered $5 million for it. I won't claim that I like it aesthetically, but since there are multiple people in the world who are willing to pay that much for it, I'll consider it an important piece of artwork.

bronze == copper, scrap value of copper == ~$2/lb.

Just to be clear: bronze is made primarily of copper, possibly up to 85% or so. Selling thousands of pounds of sculptural bronze for scrap is probably a lot more difficult than selling 20 pounds of reclaimed telephone wire (though I haven't personally tried it). It's a pretty stupid way to make money.
posted by medialyte at 12:22 PM on December 18, 2005


So it's okay for people to steal stuff if you personally don't think it's of any value?
posted by Hogshead at 12:30 PM on December 18, 2005


I wouldn't say he's my favorite, but saying its crap shows the writer has never tried to make sculpture - if you have you wouldn't - or would explain why it doesn't match your taste. I would say after looking at the obvious sculptures in my city he's better than 99% of them.
Aside, I'd like to see theives take this.
posted by uni verse at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2005


The first Internet news article I read on this heist had a headline that referred to the stolen work as a "mammoth sculpture." After a while, during which I tried to figure out in which way I had to look at it to see it as a mammoth, I realized that they merely meant it was very big...
posted by kindall at 5:13 PM on December 18, 2005


Do it, Rockapella!
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:47 AM on December 19, 2005


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