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Stolen "Goddess of the Grapes" Statue Returned to Sioux City

"Goddess of the Grapes," a bronze sculpture by Deb Zeller, was reported missing from downtown Sioux City in 2017.

Two years ago, an 18-inch bronze statue known as "Goddess of the Grapes" went missing from Sioux City. Now, after a multi-year mystery, Sioux City Art Center curator Todd Behrens will head to Waterloo to recover the sculpture, which was recently returned under unusual circumstances.

On this News Buzz edition of River of River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Behrens about the statue's mysterious disappearance and subsequent return to Sioux City after being found in a Des Moines garage. Behrens says that a Waterloo woman was visiting her friend in December 2018 and noticed the statue in his garage. The friend said that he suspected the statue had been stolen and left there by someone he knew.

After figuring out the artist's name, the woman confirmed that the statue was Goddess of the Grapes and reached out to Behrens to coordinate its return.

Shockingly, this is not the first time that the statue has been stolen. In September 2015, it was discovered missing but turned up a few days later on a bench near the entrance of the Art Center.

After returning home for the second time, Behrens says that the sculpture will be placed on display in a more secure location.

Also on the program:

  • IPR Reporter Katerina Sostaric gives updates from the Iowa state legislature.
  • Des Moines Register Health Reporter Tony Leys shares about recent concerns over quality of care at Glenwood Resource Center, a state-run healthcare facility for disabled adults.
  • IPR Western Iowa reporter Katie Peikes joins with updates on flooding in the soutwestern portion of the state.
  • Dr. June Olds, chief veterinarian at Blank Park Zoo, talks about the recent birth of a 112-pound female eastern black rhino calf.
  • Kevin Gabbert of the Iowa Department of Public Health shares about the Department's latest initiative to equip all Iowa law enforcement with the opioid reversal drug Narcan.


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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa