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Examiner
  • 'Pioneer Woman' statue stolen from trails museum

  • The Pioneer Woman is missing.



    The six-foot bronze statue at the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence was stolen over the weekend. It was noticed missing Monday morning.


    There is a reward of up to $5,000 for the return of the statue intact

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  • The Pioneer Woman is missing.
    The six-foot bronze statue at the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence was stolen over the weekend. It was noticed missing Monday morning.
    It would not have been easy to take.
    “It probably weighs several hundred pounds,” said Independence Police spokesman Tom Gentry.
    There is a reward of up to $5,000 for the return of the statue intact. There is a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Call the TIPS hotline at 474-8477 (TIPS).
    The statue was sculpted by Mexican artist Juan Lombardo-Revera and dedicated in March 1990. At Monday's City Council meeting, City Manager Robert Heacock said the statue's original cost was $30,000 to $40,000. He estimated the weight to be more than 1,000 pounds.
    It is, he said, a treasure.
    A fund for the care of the statue exists at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, and some of the reward money comes from that fund, he told the council.
    "Pioneer Woman" stood on a large rock on the east side of the museum, facing a window looking into the museum. She carries a large bucket in her right hand and cradles an infant in her left arm. The artist chose to color the bulk of the statue in a blue tint, leaving the bucket and the faces bronze.
    The city's website describes her as a "tribute to all the pioneer mothers of the past and their daughters of today."
    At Monday's Council meeting, Council Member Curt Dougherty said the theft brought home the need for the city to install video surveillance at all of its sites. Heacock concurred and said it hasn't been a lack of concern but a lack of funding that has prevented that so far. But with the new fiber links within the city, that may be a solvable problem, Heacock said.
    There are other statues of note within the city, Heacock said, and some added measures are being taken to protect them. He said he hopes whoever took "Pioneer Woman" will return her intact.
     
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