Damaged $1 Million Statues To Be Repaired

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MONTREAL, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Two million-dollar bronze statues by Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle, recovered after being stolen and broken by thieves, will be repaired, officials say.

Art dealer Simon Blais said the pieces are being sent to Montreal to be restored, something made easier because they are made of bronze, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

It’s suspected the thieves had broken the statues, which weigh several hundred pounds, to make them easier to sell for scrap.

Blais said the bronze would be worth about $1,000 melted down for the metal.

Riopelle’s widow, Huguette Vachon, said Tuesday her biggest fear was that the artwork, titled “La Defaite” (The Defeat), would be melted down before being found. The statutes, which had vanished Monday, were found Tuesday in a wooded area in Quebec.

“Even in pieces, I am very, very, very happy [to have them back],” Vachon said.

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