Chunk of Danh Vo’s Lady Liberty Stolen from NYC Park

Danh Vo, We the People (2011-13), one piece installed in New York's City Hall Park. Photo: courtesy Public Art Fund.

Despite a constant security presence at New York’s City Hall, thieves have made off with a $6,000 copper sculpture during the installation of a public art exhibition by Vietnam-born, Denmark-raised artist Danh Vo, reports the New York Post.

The exhibition, organized by the Public Art Fund, here comprises 53 life-size replicas of parts of the iconic Statue of Liberty (see artnet News‘s earlier story). Titled We the People (2011–13), the complete work numbers some 250 separate pieces, and had its New York debut at the New Museum’s second triennial, “The Ungovernables,” in 2012.

Unlike previous installations of the work, the latest New York iteration is within view of the original statue in New York Harbor. The artwork is divided between Lower Manhattan’s City Hall Park and the Greenway Terrace in the newly opened Pier 3 section of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Visitors can travel directly between the two venues via the Brooklyn Bridge, enjoying a scenic vista that includes the real Lady Liberty in oxidized green.

We the People took three years for Vo to complete, and was made utilizing the very same techniques and materials pioneered by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in his creation of the original monument almost 140 years ago.

Vo was inspired to begin the massive undertaking of replicating the colossal statue (albeit in piecemeal fashion) when he learned that its copper skin was a mind-boggling two millimeters thick (the equivalent of two pennies).

The stolen piece is a 40-pound segment of copper chain links, based on a part of the statue’s foot. The sculpture was on loan from its owner, Paris’s Galerie Chantal Crousel, and was stolen between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to MyFoxNY.

“We can confirm that a small part of the artwork disappeared from the park during installation, and a police investigation is underway,” a spokesperson from the Public Art Fund told the Post.

We the People is on view through December 5.

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