Hi-vis thieves steal $44k public artwork


A HEARTBROKEN artist is pleading for  the return of a much-loved sculpture, stolen in a bizarre theft from a public park in broad daylight.

It’s believed the 1.8m brass statue, valued at about $44,000, was taken from a Victoria Park reserve on Tuesday by two men in hi-vis clothing posing as maintenance workers.

Witnesses saw two men in high visibility clothing near the 200kg statue, but they thought they were carrying out maintenance.

Sculptor Ayad Alqaragholli said he had no idea why anyone would steal the work which he named Hyatti, meaning “you are my everything”.

media_cameraThe stolen artwork is worth about $44,000.

“I was very shocked and very sad and still now I am very very sad. Unbelievable,” he said.

“I can’t believe why anyone would do it, it doesn’t affect anyone’s sensibilities, it’s just beautiful.”

Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta said:”We’re very shocked actually, the community’s shocked, it was a much loved piece of artwork”.

Police today doorknocked residents near the park in the hope of identifying the men.

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