Thief steals 400-pound bronze statue from Kansas City fountain

Kansas City News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The search is underway for the person or people who stole a massive bronze statue from a metro park.

KC Parks said the statue depicting an Osage woman was stolen from the Francois Chouteau and Native American Heritage Fountain sometime from Aug. 2-4. Parks crews noticed the statue was missing Wednesday morning.

The monument depicts an Osage tribe member trading furs with Chouteau. The Osage woman who once stood behind her mate carried a basket of fruit. Nearby, a Kanza Indian hunts a beaver for its fur.

“François Choteau traded with the Native American tribes, and the Native American statue that was taken really is symbolic of saying we don’t want to talk about the trade in the history that we had here on the banks of the Missouri River,” City Councilmember Heather Hall said.

The statue cost $80,000 and weighs 400 pounds. It sat on a 12-foot high bluff, so the city speculates someone had to climb the bluff or use a ladder to reach the statue.

“It’s not something that you can just grab and carry away,” Mark McHenry, member of the Chouteau Fountain Founders Organization, said. “It would take a piece of equipment. If they got it down off of the bluff, which they must have, they would have had to have a truck or something to transport.”

Police are investigating, but McHenry said it’s going to be difficult for the thief to get rid of the statue.

“It’s a big enough piece of bronze that it’s not something you can just put anywhere. It’s gonna be somewhere,” McHenry said.

The parks department said it designed the park and placed the statues so people wouldn’t be able to walk right up to it. The statue is one of a kind, and the city hopes it will be returned.

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