MONTREAL, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Two stolen bronze statues by Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle valued at $1 million were found smashed in a wooded area of Quebec Tuesday, authorities said.
The (Montreal) Gazette reported police said the statues, named “La Dafaite” or “The Defeat,” had disappeared from an unguarded residence in Esterel in the Laurentians the night before.
Sgt. Marie-Josee Ouellet of the Suretr du Quebec said a maintenance worker noticed the artwork was missing. CTV News reported locals said they had seen three men lingering near the statues. A white van was seen nearby and police later found it but the statues were not inside, The Gazette said.
The busted statues were discovered about 12:45 p.m. in a wooded area of Ste. Marguerite du Lac Masson near Montreal, CTV said.
The network said the 5-foot-tall, 660-pound statues, created by the late Quebec sculptor about 40 years ago, had been broken into several pieces and apparently were taken by thieves intent on selling them for scrap.