Our View: Public art should not be pilfered

Published: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 1:27 p.m. CDT
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(Photo Provided)
A horse and knight statue created by Batavia resident Francis Joseph Gagnepain IV was reported stolen from a parkway on the west side of South Randall Road near Fargo Boulevard between Jan. 3 and 6.

Have you seen a 9-foot metal statue of a horse and knight during the last couple of weeks? If so, you might be able to help return local pieces of art to their rightful owners.

The horse and knight statue, which was created by Batavia resident Francis Joseph Gagnepain IV, was stolen from a parkway on the west side of South Randall Road near Fargo Boulevard between Jan. 3 and 6, according to Geneva police reports.

The weight of the statue is reported to be 300 to 400 pounds. Its value is about $2,000.

Gagnepain constructed the statue using bicycle parts and other items in 2000. A Batavia family owns the horse, and Gagnepain owns the knight, he said.

It’s a shame to see artwork on public display pilfered from the community. Not only has a local artist and family lost what rightfully belongs to them, but the act might also discourage other artists from choosing to display their work publicly.

What one creates often is near and dear to him or her. Gagnepain said he was “heartbroken” by the loss of his work.

The artist has suggested that someone might have thought the statue was scrap metal because wind had caused the piece to fall over.

Whatever the case may be, we encourage anyone with details about the missing artwork to call the Geneva Police Department. The matter is being investigated.