A life-size 400-pound iron statue — part of a 22-sculpture visiting exhibit displayed in a downtown Baton Rouge levee that was missing — has been found in a parking lot not far from downtown.
Ashley Fabre, director of communications and development for the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, said the statue, which was found in a parking lot on Oklahoma Street near River Road, has been recovered.
Investigators believe the statue, part of a 22-sculpture visiting exhibit by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir that arrived in Baton Rouge in March 2017, was removed from a bench near the levee sometime between mid-March and mid-April, according to a news release from Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. Each statue is worth about $60,000.
The statue was discovered missing in July when workers began packing up the pieces for the move to their new home: the Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College in Shreveport.
The statue was found after a tip was called in to Crime Stoppers.
The statues are aluminum and iron androgynous human forms that were situated along the levee, some sitting on benches and others standing or kneeling at various locations. The temporary public art installation is called "Borders" and are meant to celebrate unity.
Jonathan Grimes, director of facilities and seasonal programming at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, said he and two Baton Rouge Police officers loaded the heavy statue into the back of his truck.
"Four people would have been great," he said, "but we did it with three."
The statue appeared to be covered in dirt or spray paint, Grimes said.
He added that the recovered statue would be picked up when Shreveport comes to the Capital City to retrieve the other four remaining statues currently located on the dock at the Mississippi River levee.
President and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Renee Chatelain thanked the public on Friday.
“I am so grateful to the many people who want the best for this community and who reached out to us once Crime Stoppers got on board," Chatelain said. "Thank you, Baton Rouge!”