SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - Sandy Springs police said someone stole a $12,500 bronze statue from a local arts center and is likely trying to recycle it for cash.
Fulton County officials told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik the statue has been a staple at the Abernathy Arts Center annex since it opened in 2001.
“It’s a young child, about 8 years old, walking to art class,” said Jeffry Loy, conservator of the Fulton County Public Arts program. “He’s carrying his easel, his paint brushes, his paint.”
Loy told Petchenik the project was commissioned to coincide with the art center annex’s opening. Loy said this marks the first theft in the public arts program since it started 18 years ago.
“It’s a great tragedy that it’s missing, and they all feel they’re missing a part of their family,” he said.
Loy said he believes someone drove onto the property and intentionally rammed the statue with a truck to pry it off its pedestal.
“People are taking whatever they think they can make a buck (with) and disregarding any sentimental value,” said Sandy Springs Police Capt. Steve Rose. “Whoever took it is probably going to try to recycle it.”
Recyclers are paying about $1.50 per pound of bronze, so Loy believes the statue could fetch between $300 and $350.
Police said they will be contacting local recyclers to see if someone tried to scrap the statue. Georgia law requires recyclers to document the identity of people who recycle metals.
“Be aware that people are taking a large bronze statue, three or four foot tall. It should signal some indication that maybe you need to contact police,” said Rose.
Loy said he hopes police find the statue before someone is able to melt it down and sell it.
“Even if it’s cut up, please have it reported,” Loy asked of recyclers. “We can have it repaired, have it fixed.”
Anyone with information can contact the Sandy Springs Police Department at 770-551-6900.