Frank Steiger says he was disappointed with an Abbotsford school when he heard the expensive sculpture he donated had been missing for a year before anyone noticed.
Steiger owns Fraser River Lodge and donated the $8,000 sculpture of Chief Dan George to the middle school of the same name because he thought it was the most appropiate place for it.
Now he’s rethinking that.
“If that statue was gone for a year and they haven’t missed it, we have places who would actually appreciate it,” Steiger said.
“There is one piece like that in the world.”
The school said they had no idea it was stolen until the artist, Gerald Sandau, showed up at the school in June to see it missing from its display case.
Sandau previously told The News he was floored when the front desk receptionist informed him the sculpture had disappeared, “It weighs 120 pounds. How can it just disappear?”
He said the principal called him the next day to apologize and said he would file a police report. The report was filed a week later.
The principal has not responded to The News’s request for an interview and no public apology has been issued to either the Steiger or Sandau.
When the theft became known to the public, the sculpture was found within 24 hours at a Mission pawn shop and recovered by police. The pawn shop owner originally denied the statue was the same one missing.
The pawn shop purchase report given to the RCMP says the sculpture was purchased on July 20, 2018 for $1,000.
The pawn shop owner said he had no idea the artwork was stolen and that it sat on his counter since its purchase.
“Nothing was said by anybody,” he said.
“Everything that goes through my store is faxed to the RCMP.”
Steiger was shocked someone would steal the sculpture in the first place.
“It’s sitting in the school it’s named after. Who would steal that? And we still don’t have the information who pawned it,” he said.
“That information needs to come out to the public.”