“Daring Dancer,” a Utah marble sculpture valued at $5,000 purportedly stolen nearly two weeks prior, was found intact near Collinston on Friday.
“It’s kind of a happy end to the story,” said Andrew Keith, the artist and Utah State University alumnus behind the piece. “I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t expecting to see it again, but I’m glad that it showed up.”
Though he hasn’t thoroughly assessed the near 400-pound sculpture, Keith said the damage appears to be minimal. Keith said he hadn’t noticed any large chips or missing pieces that can sometimes happen when marble is struck. He estimated the piece could be repaired in six hours.
“There’s probably some chips and dings on the surface just from them moving it,” Keith said. “It looks like they just pushed it out of the back of their truck on the side of a dirt road.”
Keith said the piece was found by two people on their morning jog who later reported it to authorities. While excited and grateful that “Daring Dancer” was returned to its rightful place, Keith said he wished he could’ve learned more about who took the piece and why they took it in the first place. Keith expressed concern for others who may be missing things that didn’t receive as much attention as his sculpture.
“That’s still kind of a mystery, and so I’m probably more curious than anything,” Keith said. “Were they trying to sell it? Or were they just thinking it was funny, maybe people playing a prank or something? I don’t know, but I am relieved to get it back.”
Before the sculpture went missing, Keith had planned on presenting the piece in Loveland, Colorado, at Sculpture in the Park — the largest juried outdoor sculpture show in the United States. However, as a result of COVID-19, this year’s sculpture show has been cancelled until next year, Keith said.
“As soon as I found out that I’d found my sculpture, then I found out that the show was cancelled,” Keith said with a laugh. “It’s kind of unfortunate, but that’s how it goes.”
Keith said he’s shipped pieces to several countries around the world and has had prior success selling smaller pieces online — specifically eBay. He is currently in the process of building an Etsy shop for his work.
“Now (the sculpture) has a good story behind it at least,” Keith said.