A large bronze statue of a great blue heron, which is owned by the city of St. Paul, has been stolen from its perch on the East Side.
Officers were called to Ames Lake Park on Friday morning and were told by park security that the statue was taken from the area of Phalen Boulevard and Clarence Street, police said Monday.
The blueish-green statue is about 2 feet tall and 1½ feet wide and was attached to a boulder with a memorial plaque, said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman. It is valued at $20,000, he said.
A parks and recreation officer was able to determine that the statue was stolen between July and October, based on a search of Google Earth, said Clare Cloyd, a Parks and Rec spokeswoman.
A teacher, Aloun Phoulavan, worked with students to create the statue, which was placed in the park in 2004, said Randee Edmundson, who coordinated the Ames Lake restoration project when she worked at the former Cleveland Junior High School.
Edmundson said she was devastated to discover the sculpture missing last week.
“It represents not just the artists and the students of that time period that worked on that vision, but it was a gift to the neighborhood as a reminder of the importance of the relationship between nature and the people who surround it and depend on it,” Edmundson said.
The statute has fallen victim to theft in the past. It was stolen sometime after it was initially installed and then found at Como Park with minor damage, Cloyd said. The sculpture was restored and put in a different location in Ames Lake Park, Edmundson said.
Police ask anyone with information about the current theft to call them at 651-266-5740.
“It would be unfortunate if someone stole such a beautiful statue for scrap, but we don’t know the motive at this point,” Linders said.