Tuesday, June 26, 2007


A local art theft case! As reported in today's Ithaca Journal, a plaster cast replica of the Roman sculpture Sleeping Ariadne (owned by the Vatican) was stolen from Cornell's Sibley Hall some time over this past weekend. It was found missing 7:27 yesterday morning. According to the article, "the only evidence police have found relating to the suspected theft is a trail of plaster leading out of the building to a parking lot between Sibley and Rand Halls". The piece is estimated to be worth "between $5,000 and $20,000". It was purchased by Cornell in the 1890's alongside other ancient Greco-Roman simulacraby the university's first president, Andrew Dickson White. This essay has some general historical background.

UPDATE (07/03): They found it:

Investigators from the Cornell University Police Department have recovered "Sleeping Ariadne," an irreplaceable, 350-pound plaster of Paris sculpture that was taken from Sibley Hall over the June 23-24 weekend. Cornell Police recovered the statue from an off-campus fraternity house about 9 a.m. June 28.

There was slight damage to the statue, which has been moved to a university-owned facility where the extent of the damage and potential repairs can be evaluated.

Cornell Police officials have no further details available at this time, as the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about the theft of the sculpture is urged to contact Cornell University Police at 607-255-1111.

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