Tail feathers from vandalized sculpture recovered | PostIndependent.com

Tail feathers from vandalized sculpture recovered

Glenwood Springs Parks and Cemetery Superintendent Al Laurette holds up the iron tail feathers that were broken off of a sculpture in downtown Glenwood two years ago, and recently recovered on the hillside above Linwood Cemetery. He plans to return the piece to the widow of the late sculptor.
John Stroud | Post Independent

The case of the missing iron tail feathers ripped off a bronze sculpture that used to adorn the southeast corner of Ninth and Grand in Glenwood Springs has been at least partially solved.

Recently, a hiker found the ornate piece in the area above Linwood Cemetery on the lower flank of Lookout Mountain. The area has been a problem area for illegal camping over the years.

The sculpture, “Raptoround: Standing Proud,” created by the late Chuck Weaver, was vandalized in October 2015, days after Weaver died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 76.

It was part of Glenwood Springs’ public art display for a few years. The following spring it was removed for repairs and put back on display elsewhere.

After the missing tail feathers piece was found and turned over to Glenwood Springs Police, it was handed over to city Parks and Cemetery Superintendent Al Laurette. He contacted Weaver’s widow, Dee Weaver of Fort Collins, and will have the metal piece returned to her.

“I didn’t think I would ever see them again,” Weaver said. The feathers will be a sentimental keepsake, as the broken part of the sculpture was re-cast and the piece is on display in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“I’m glad they were found, and it does bring some closure of the incident,” she said. “It’s still sad that it happened.”

The sculpture will soon make its way to Lakewood for a new display, but Weaver said she would like to see it return to Glenwood Springs some day.

Weaver was in Glenwood to spread her husband’s ashes on McClure Pass the weekend the vandalism took place.

“It’s just disheartening … so senseless … and why now, of all times,” she said at the time, adding Glenwood has always had a special place in her heart.

Weaver said she remains surprised that someone was able to wrangle the tail piece off of the sculpture, since bronze works are usually pretty sturdy.

Pointing to the broken section, Laurette said it appeared someone was able to use raw force to bend the narrow section of the sculpture back and forth until it gave.

Police Chief Terry Wilson said that, though the piece was recovered, it didn’t come with any clues as to who the perpetrator or perpetrators might have been.

The $26,000 sculpture was initially selected as part of the annual Glenwood Springs public art program in 2014, then renewed for another year at the request of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.

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