Published: August 26, 2008
On Sunday night, August 17, a valuable Seward Johnson sculpture titled “Time’s Up,” depicting a bronze policeman, was stolen from the corner of Broad Street and Greyrock Place, opposite Macy’s. The theft occurred after months of Stamford showcasing a 53-sculpture exhibit of the celebrated sculptor’s lifelike bronzes throughout the downtown streets.
The sculpture is valued at more than $120,000 and is a sold-out work of art, making it even more valuable. This particular casting of the sculpture is also the artist’s proof, owned by Johnson himself, and is the last casting of the sculpture’s limited edition of seven.
“We know where all the castings are, and it will be impossible for the thieves to resell the sculpture on the market, publicly or covertly, without our finding it,” said Paula Stoeke, executive director of the Sculpture Foundation, the organization that is co-hosting the exhibition in Stamford. Stoeke explained, “The idea of selling the bronze for scrap prices is one where the risk far outweighs the rewards. Anyone involved in such a chain of events risks losing everything, and imprisonment for very little return. The laws, tracking and regulations on this industry are becoming more sophisticated.”
Throughout the decades of exhibiting public sculpture, the foundation has had only one instance of a sculpture being stolen, and is awaiting news of its return. One prior theft of a sculpture resulted in a happy ending when pranksters †learning the high value of the art †alerted police to its location with an anonymous phone call to the station.
The city and community hope that the person or persons responsible for the theft return the sculpture. Sandy Goldstein, president of the downtown Stamford special services district, commented, “‘Time’s Up’ is a very engaging work of art. Many people pass it and really believe there is a police officer giving a ticket. We certainly hope that the wonderful sculpture is returned. It means so much to us.”
Anyone having information on the sculpture should contact the Stamford Police Department at 203-977-4407.
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