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Officials fear statue could be sold for scrap after theft

April 14, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — An artist and officials in Columbus are pleading for the return of a statue they fear may be sold for scrap.

A statue of a young girl in a raincoat and hat, entitled “May Flower,” went missing over the weekend from the spot in downtown Columbus where it has stood since 2007. Someone pried it up from the metal plate it was welded to.

“It’s a sad thing when people are brought down to ripping sculptures off the sidewalk. I’m not taking it personally, but it’s a sad thing,” sculptor Susan Geissler told WRBL-TV. “And I’d probably forgive them.”

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Police are investigating and a downtown development group said it hopes “for the speedy and safe return of the statue with no questions asked.”

“Best case scenario, someone did it as a prank,” said Ed Wolverton, president of the development group known as Uptown Columbus Inc.

Peter Henderson, Geissler’s husband and business partner, said rising copper prices can motivate thieves, because a bronze statue is 95% copper.

“They’ll take a $10,000 sculpture and sell it in a scrap yard for $150. Which is really sad. But they’re desperate and that’s why they’re doing it,” Henderson said.