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Bronze Statue Stolen, Again

Deb Zeller

A 20-inch bronze statue in Sioux City has been stolen for the second time in as many years. “Goddess of the Grapes” was reportedly taken sometime around the end of June from the downtown area, though the Sioux City Art Center waited until July 17 to report the theft to police.

"The last time it was stolen, once word was put out that the police were involved and this was a serious matter, it magically appeared at our front door overnight," explains curator Todd Behrens. "We delayed contacting the police initially because we thought something like that might just happen. That it was somebody, who in an act impulsive behavior, did something they came to regret."

The statue, by Minnesota-based artist Deb Zeller, depicts a young woman standing on the balls of her feet, with her head thrown back. Her right arm is outstretched, holding a cluster of grapes.

After it was taken the first time in September 2015, the statue was repaired and additional precautions were taken to better affix it to its base. At the time the art center wouldn't reveal how the bronze goddess would be reattached for security reasons.

If the statue is returned, Behrens says the art center will have to rethink how and where it's displayed. Compared to the other 20-some outdoor sculptures the art center oversees in Sioux City, “Goddess of the Grapes” is smaller, which he says might make it a target. 

"It's a public piece, we want it to be in public so we’ll have to find a public place for it," he says. "But that place might end up being indoors." 

The statue is valued at between $3,000 and $5,000.