Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stolen Shevchenko case partly solved

Last week Halten police (Canada) arrested a suspect of a somewhat bizarre theft.

In 1951 a statue to the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko was placed in Toronto. It commemorated the 60th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada and their historic contribution to the economic, cultural, social and political life of this country.

Late December 2006 the statue disappaered from its marble pedestal. On 2 January Bill Harasym, president of the Taras H. Shevchenko Museum and Memorial Park Foundation, already speculated about the motives: "It looks like it was pulled down and to me it smacks of crooks out to make a dollar and melt the bronze down." And indeed the head of the poet appeared at Thomson Metals & Disposal in Burlington.

Meanwhile the foundation's president still has hope that the torso is found and the statue put back together: "I sincerely hope that it's in some kind of condition that it could be reconstituted. Then I would start to believe in miracles," he adds.

The statue is believed to contain 13,000 euro worth of scrap copper.

UPDATE: in 1988 the poor lads in Toronto also already lost their Shevchenko Museum to arson. The Park and Monument remain to this day as a reminder of our heritage, they write. I suppose now the Park remains...

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