Owl statue stolen from campus


Courtesy of ISU Museums

An owl statue with an estimated value of $7,500 was stolen near Morrill Hall.

Stephen Snyder

A piece of art was recently stolen from an on-campus art installation near Morrill Hall.

An owl statue with a replacement value of $7,500 was stolen, according to ISU Deputy Police Chief Rob Bowers. However, the monetary value is not the only loss caused by the theft according to Bowers and Allison Sheridan, ISU Museums Collections Manager and Communications Coordinator.

“ISU is fortunate to have one of the largest public art collections of any college or university in the nation,” Sheridan said. “Every day, students pass by works of art on the walls, stroll next to sculptures, and study near world class examples of art often only seen in museums. The whole ISU community loses when a select few decide that vandalism or theft of art is a form of entertainment.”

Deputy Police Chief Bowers said that although the theft of art is infrequent, the department takes the crime very seriously, sharing Sheridan’s sentiment.

“We have thousands of pieces of artwork on campus and each individual piece of artwork contributes to the wide diversity of expression that we enjoy on campus,” Bowers said. “Art in its various forms on campus is used as an educational tool and is also a very important part of our collective cultural heritage.”

The theft of art should not be viewed as a victimless crime. In fact, Sheridan believes that the student body should take such acts personally.

“Many artists have worked incredibly hard to design and create the works of art across our campus, and still many others work just as hard to acquire, install and care for them,” Sheridan said. “The point of all this hard work is to create a beautiful campus. The main audience for our beautiful campus is the student population.”

Due to the large number of on-campus art installations and how widely they are spread throughout the campus, Bowers believes that the most useful and efficient security system for on campus art is not security cameras or to make them inaccessible to students, but instead to call on the students themselves to take personal accountability for preserving our campus’ beauty.

The best possible security that we will ever have is the appreciation that people have of the wide diversity of art on display. We would encourage that as people enjoy the beauty of our campus, including the wide diversity of artwork, that if they see a possible crime or problem, or have information, that they call ISU Police at 515-294-4428,” Bowers said.

Any information regarding the whereabouts of the stolen statue or the identity of the perpetrator should likewise be directed to ISU Police.