KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A month after someone stole a 400 pound bronze statue from a Northland fountain, KC Parks organized a fund to help cover the $12,000 needed to restore it.
Thieves removed the massive 7-foot sculpture of a Native American Osage woman from the Francois Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain in early August.
Police followed tips from scrap dealers and located the statue. Investigators said that by the time they found the sculpture it had already been cut up into pieces. KC Parks said they were able to recover all but a few small sections of the statue.
Prosecutors charged 56-year-old Charles Fuentes with receiving stolen property. Investigators said scrap dealers identified him as the person who tried to sell pieces of the statue.
Experts contacted the sculptor of the piece and the foundry where it was made. They determined the sculpture can be repaired, but it’s a costly process. The original statue cost nearly $80,000, according to the parks department. KC Parks said it needs $12,000 to repair it.
“The theft and mutilation of the statue was not only a shameful felony offense, it also was an act of disrespect toward our regional Native American history. Restoring the statue helps restore that beautiful heritage,” Dick Davis, Chairman of the Chouteau Fountain Founders, said.
The problem is KC Parks doesn’t have the money to cover the costly repairs. That’s why The City of Fountains Foundation set up a GoFundMe account in hopes of raising enough to pay for the repairs.
Davis said that enhanced security measures have been added to the area to protect the other sculptures at the fountain in hopes that thieves and vandals won’t cause damage to the fountain in the future.