Rock Dragon, the temporary public art piece that was stolen June 22, was found one week later and is expected to be returned to its perch at Maffeo Sutton Park. NEWS BULLETIN file

Nanaimo’s Rock Dragon recovered

Public art piece found under a sleeping bag in library parking lot

The Rock Dragon will be able to soar back to his perch at the park.

The temporary public art piece that was stolen from Maffeo Sutton Park in a high-profile heist on June 22 was found exactly one week later, found curled up in a sleeping bag in the parking lot at a Nanaimo library on Friday.

“I’m pretty excited about it that it’s back,” said Heather Wall, the artist. “I figured it was gone. I was getting ready to build another one.”

She said she was “bummed out” by the end of last week and had gone out for a motorcycle ride. When she returned home, she said she had received a message from someone from the Nanaimo North Library who had spotted a flash of metal underneath a pile of blankets.

“She saw the claws of the bottom wings sticking out from the blanket. She was like, ‘I know what that is,’” said Wall.

She said the sculpture is waiting for her at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, where it has been dusted for fingerprints. Wall hasn’t been told if there is any damage.

“It’s steel and metal. I can fix it. You can weld it back together,” she said. “I don’t know if he’ll have scars with the welds.”

Once she’s assessed the damage, she’ll decide on how she might be able to affix the Rock Dragon more permanently to its base, possibly with security bolts that can’t be wrenched off, possibly with welding.

Wall said she found a website dedicated to art thefts and said Picasso is the artist whose pieces have been stolen the greatest number of times.

“Apparently he’s had over 1,000 art pieces stolen from him. I have one. I’d like to keep it that way,” she said.

Wall said it was a bit of a surprise that the theft of her Rock Dragon received so much attention.

“From what I can tell, it went nationwide, which is pretty darn cool that people were that interested in public-space artwork,” she said. “And the people of Nanaimo, there was a lot of people, I think, felt really violated by it. It just brought a really bad vibe to the city of Nanaimo. Now that it’s back, I think that that’s been taken care of.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Comox Valley medical cannabis business growing despite impending legalization

With nearly a month to go until new cannabis legalization laws come… Continue reading

Humpback whales visit Cape Lazo

Peter Hamilton with Lifeforce Ocean Friends snapped these photos of some humpback… Continue reading

Valley Father-daughter duo share a special bond over a kidney

Annual kidney walk is set for Sept. 23 at Simms Park

Stolen Victoria vehicle crashes in Black Creek

On Sept. 15, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP… Continue reading

Courtenay getting a tool library

New facility allows do-it-yourselfers to borrow tools

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Most Read