Sarasota, Florida -- Statues and sculptures of all sorts grace the grounds of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. But now, one is missing; it's a slender piece called "Endogenae".
"I've heard different descriptions," says museum Collections Manager Francie Hack. "One person described it as teardrops stacked on top of another."
Photo Gallery: Stolen Ringling Museum of Art sculpture
And now museum officials could shed a few tears. The bronze sculpture was donated to the museum in 1968 by the wife of its creator, the now-deceased American artist A. Arlie Sinaiko.
A groundskeeper on Tuesday noticed the statue was missing. It had been ripped from its base and police suspect it was stolen to sell for scrap metal.
But if whoever swiped the 5-footer expects to get a bronze bounty, they'll be disappointed. A scrap yard told 10 News that bronze is going for about $1.80 a pound. So if the statue weighs about 50 pounds, .the thieves will clear less than a hundred bucks.
"It's just a very sad thing," says Hack, "Because they're irreplaceable and the few dollars you get out of it by making it into scrap metal are definitely not what it's worth as an artwork."
While museum officials say their security is tight, there is no surveillance tape of the heist and police say the last time anyone really remembers seeing the sculpture is back in September. So that makes the artwork's recovery a long shot.
Even so, the museum hopes "Endogenae" will somehow find its way home. Hack says, "It belongs at the Ringling, yes."
If you know anything about this crime, you're urged to call the Sarasota Police at 941-366-8000 or the Registrar's office at the museum at 941-359-5700 ext. 1501. You can remain anonymous.