Updated: April 9 7:42 a.m.
RCMP said they received a phone call at 9:20 p.m. on Sunday that there was a suspicious item near the Penticton City Hall deposit box.
RCMP investigated and found the item was the statue of the Hatbox Man that was earlier reported as stolen from a city park.
Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said the statue was not damaged and it is unknown who returned it.
It may not be as famous (or infamous) as Frank the Baggage Handler, but the RCMP reports that another of Summerland artist Michael Hermesh’s sculptures has drawn some unwanted attention.
Until recently, Hermesh’s Hatbox man was on display in Gyro Park, to the north of City Hall, at least until someone decided to steal it. It was noticed missing at 11 a.m. Sunday morning (April 8). After verifying that it had not been removed by the artist or city staff, the theft was reported to police.
There appear to be pry marks and grinder marks at the base of the pedestal.
If anyone has any information to assist the RCMP in their investigation and help in the return of this piece of artwork please call Cst. Ian Wolchok at 250-492-4300. The Penticton RCMP file number is 2018-4806.
The theft comes on the same weekend the city’s Public Sculpture committee issued a challenge to keep the sculptures installed under the 2017 public sculpture program.
Six sculptures are currently on display in prominent positions in the north end of the city, and new installations are to begin in May.
All the 2017 sculptures are available for sale or lease (renewal in April, 2018).
In a release, the committee said they want to work with interested businesses, groups or individuals to ensure that all the current sculptures stay in Penticton.
That can be through purchase, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $17,000. Leasing is the second option – sculptures may be available for lease for about $2600 a year.
Sponsorship is the third option put forward by the committee: for $1000/year you can sponsor a sculpture and support the artists. Your name will be featured on the sculpture nameplate and on the sculpture walk map.
Interested parties can contact Robin Robertson chair of the public sculpture committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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