Missing sculpture found in Eau Claire neighborhood

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Every year Tom Giles and his rotary club take some time to get an up-close look at the 32 sculptures spread out across Eau Claire.

He has a personal connection to this tour.

"I take the photographs for the sculpture tour every year," Giles said.

And so you can imagine how he felt, knowing there is one less sculpture this year he and his group will get to see.

"There's also been vandalism over the last years and that's very disheartening because it will have to be repaired or the artist will have to repair it," he said.

The "All in the Same Boat" sculpture was reported stolen Sunday morning.

It however was found Thursday when police got a tip about its whereabouts in a Congress St. neighborhood about 1/4 mile away.

Still, it is the fourth time a sculpture has been stolen since the tour started. One, the "Mother and Child" sculpture still has not been found.

That has organizers thinking how to keep this from happening again.

"That is going to be a goal of ours to maybe have heavier sculptures and choosing locations that have 24 hour cameras on them," said Sherry Mohr with the Eau Claire Sculpture Tour.

She says choosing locations with cameras may be key. Cameras at nearby businesses were rolling when the "All in the Same Boat" and a previous sculpture were taken.

Sue Bornick with the Eau Claire Community Foundation says it may come down to tighter welding.

"How they got it off with it I'm not sure because it's welded on; obviously we're gonna need extra secure measures in welding when we replace it," she said.

Kristina Aschenbrenner takes her daughter on trips with the rotary club to see the sculptures. She too is concerned with the theft, but believes Eau Claire stands behind its art.

"I know there’s huge support in the community for this sculpture tour and I don’t see anyone being fazed to continue it," she said.

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(EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) --

During the early morning hours of Sunday, July 20, 2014, a sculpture was stolen near Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire on the 1200 block of Whipple Street. The sculpture entitled “All in the Same Boat” by artist Kyle Fokken, was being shown as part of Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. This sculpture was valued at $7,000.

On Thursday, July 24, 2014, the Eau Claire Police Department received information from a community member as to the whereabouts of the stolen sculpture. Eau Claire Police Department Detectives responded to this location and recovered the sculpture. The sculpture appeared undamaged and was returned to the Eau Claire Community Foundation.

The Eau Claire Police Department would like to extend their gratitude for the assistance received by vigilant and responsible community members. This case highlights the importance of collaboration between members of the community and the Eau Claire Police Department.

This theft is still under investigation and the Eau Claire Police Department Detective Division is following up on additional leads. No arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with further information regarding the theft is asked to contact Detective Kyle Jentzsch at 715-839-6020.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A sculpture that was reported missing from Sculpture Tour Eau Claire has been found.

Rebecca White Body with the Eau Claire Community Foundation said two Eau Claire Police Department officers brought "All in the Same Boat" to the foundation's office Thursday afternoon. She said the officers told her someone living on Congress Street spotted the sculpture in some bushes behind a neighbor's property, and called for help. Officers found the sculpture, and returned it to the foundation.

Body says the sculpture tour will have to arrange to pick it up, and get it back onto its pedestal. She said if there is any damage to the sculpture, it's not noticeable.


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