Chapel Hill offers reward in on-loan sculpture heist | News

Chapel Hill offers reward in on-loan sculpture heist

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The Town of Chapel Hill is calling for the safe return of “our missing little girl” after someone pilfered a $16,000 sculpture from the lawn of the Chapel Hill Museum on Franklin Street.

Landing, a sculpture by Florida-based artist Cecilia Lueza, went missing from the Chapel Hill Museum earlier this month.
  • Courtesy of the Town of Chapel Hill
  • "Landing," a sculpture by Florida-based artist Cecilia Lueza, went missing from the Chapel Hill Museum earlier this month.
Jeff York, Chapel Hill’s public arts administrator, says the town is offering a $250 reward, no questions asked, for the piece, a bright orange and yellow epoxy girl leaping skyward.

“We aren’t interested in pressing charges or anything like that,” he says. “We just would like our little girl back.”

The sculpture, “Landing,” by Florida-based artist Cecilia Lueza, is on loan to Chapel Hill as part of the 2009-2010 Sculpture Visions exhibit, which features several pieces throughout the town.

York says this is the first art theft the town has experienced in six years.

“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “It’s obvious that somebody had to really want it, or at least want it off its stand, because it was attached to a five-inch steel pipe that it looks like somebody sawed through to get it.”

The 6-feet-tall-by-5-feet-wide sculpture was lifted earlier this month and reported to the police last week. It was installed in October and was set to be taken down in three months. Town property insurance will cover the cost if the sculpture does not resurface.

“We just really hope that someone will have a change of heart and bring it back,” York says.

Anyone with information should contact the Public Arts Office at 968-2750 or info@chapelhillarts.org.

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