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Ballerina statue in Tulsa cut down, sold for scrap metal

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Posted at 3:34 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 15:36:49-04

TULSA — Authorities in Oklahoma say that a statue of a star Native American ballerina that was stolen from the front of a museum in Tulsa was sold for scrap metal.

The bronze statue of Marjorie Tallchief stood outside the Tulsa Historical Society as part of the Five Moons display before it was stolen on Thursday.

According to Tulsa Police, several of the pieces were recovered at a recycling center in Catoosa on Monday.

Museum officials said on Facebook Monday that the pieces recovered were all cut up.

"I, on behalf of our board of directors, staff and volunteers, want to thank all of those who so quickly spread the news that one of our beloved Five Moons statues had been stolen," the museum's executive director Michelle Place said. "We are hoping that additional information regarding the missing pieces will be located so that we can then do our best to restore this Native American symbol through art."

The Tulsa World reported that the pieces were recovered from CMC Recycling, which contacted the museum.

According to the Associated Press, several pieces are still missing, including the head and part of an arm.

"The Tulsa Police Department is working diligently to apprehend the thief," the museum said. "There are promising leads due to the recycling center's due diligence."

Museum officials said Tuesday that the artist who helped sculpt some of the statues, Gary Henson, is working on restoring the piece with what parts of the figure were recovered.

If he isn't able to restore it, the museum said Henson would create a replica.