A 10-inch wire snipe, one half of a downtown Colorado Springs art installation worth $70,000, was stolen this week from its perch in Boulder Crescent Park.
The bird, which was taken late Monday or early Tuesday, sits on a bench next to an 8-foot cat on the west side of North Cascade Avenue between East Platte Avenue and East Boulder Street. Together, they make up “You, Light as a Cloud,” one of the public installations in this year’s Art on the Streets exhibit.
“The damaged sculpture depicts a cat and a bird, natural enemies, coexisting peacefully on a bench,” Laurel Prud’homme, spokeswoman for the Downtown Partnership, said in an email. “It invites passersby to sit down next to these two creatures to contemplate how dialogue with those different from us can change the world around us.”
The sculpture is on loan from Byeong Doo Moon, an artist in South Korea. Moon also created a wire deer called “I have been dreaming to be a tree” for the previous year’s exhibit, which became part of the city’s permanent collection.
A reward is being offered for the return of the snipe, the release says. Anyone with information is asked to call 886-0088.
“The sculpture was valued at $70,000 but because the bird was stolen, it is considered incomplete and no longer valid for sale,” says a news release from the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.
Two other sculptures from Art on the Streets exhibits have been stolen in recent years. “Pikes Peek” and “Kissing Camels” from the “Civic Treasures” installation by Denver-based artist Scottie Burgess were taken and later replaced.
In 2017, Burgess’ miniature sculpture of two camels touching noses disappeared. The piece was pried out of its cubbyhole created by a missing brick in the wall of Rutledge’s men’s clothing store at Kiowa and Tejon streets.
The original statue never was recovered, but Burgess replaced the popular “Kissing Camels” sculpture for the cost of materials.
The artist’s statue depicting a featureless figure peeking around the word PIKES was replaced in December, about five months after it was stolen. The artist provided the new sculpture free of charge.
“Pikes Peek” is in an alcove next to the downtown Colorado Springs police substation, at the end of a trail of painted footprints on the northwest corner of Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue.
“Unfortunately, this is the nature of having pieces out that that the public can interact with,” Prud’homme said. “We hope that people respect that this is artwork and that it’s here for the enjoyment of everybody, and unfortunately, there has been some damage and vandalism in the last few years.
“We’ve seen it in years past, we’ll probably see it in years down the road, but ... it’s certainly not going to deter us from continuing to put great works of art out where the public can enjoy it.”