Osage sculpture recovered

GoFundMe effort to help cover restoration

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


Under the cover of darkness on an early August night, thieves removed the seven-foot, 400 pound Native American Osage woman sculpture from the Francois Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain in Kansas City’s Northland.


Within a few short days after she went missing, law enforcement, with the help of community partners, recovered her. Sadly, she was found in many pieces. The would-be metal scrappers had her long enough to chop her up, but not long enough to sell or melt her – although a few small sections of the statue were not recovered.


After consulting with the sculptor and the foundry, it appears that the sculpture can – and will be – restored to her original beauty.
The Osage woman statue cost nearly $80,000 to design, create, transport and install. The cost to repair her is estimated to be $12,000.


“There are no funds in the budget for this expense,” explained Chouteau Fountain Founders Chairman Dick Davis, “so we partnered with the City of Fountains Foundation to create a GoFundMe page to help cover the extra costs.”


Donations are 100% tax deductible, and all contributions will be earmarked solely for the restoration and return of the Osage woman statue to the site.


Davis expressed his dismay with the situation saying, “The theft and mutilation of the statue was not only a shameful felony offense, it also was an act of disrespect toward our regional Native American history. Restoring the statue helps restore that beautiful heritage.”


He further noted, “Rest assured, enhanced security measures to protect all of the sculptures at the site are now in place to deter future criminal activity.”

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