Giant aluminum sculpture missing in Orlando, presumed scrapped

Mike Krumboltz
The Sideshow

A piece of public art in Orlando, Fla., was stolen from a fenced-in city storage lot and apparently sold for scrap metal, according to local station WESH Channel 2.

The aluminum piece, insured for over $175,000, was created by artist Peter Shelton in the 1980s. Called BLACKVAULTfalloffstone, it was originally displayed in Minneapolis. It was moved to Orlando in the '90s after city officials expressed interest.

However, the artwork, a life-size figure atop a giant boulder, was never displayed in Orlando. City officials felt the piece, intended to be interactive, was a safety liability. So, it stayed inside a fenced-in area.

Nobody is sure exactly when the art was stolen. A city official discovered that it was missing in August, and a police report was filed in November. (Reports on the incident are just being released.) Even though the piece was insured, city officials don't plan to file a claim because the policy has a $10,000 deductible, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

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Shelton's artwork has been displayed in places including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Understandably, he's not happy with the way the city cared for his artwork.

"I agreed to give it to the city under the condition that they would put it up," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "Well, it's going on 20 years now that it's been there without any movement forward, except now it's lost."

He added: "They've created a loss for me. It's not only frustrating, but you get to the point where you feel like you're beating your head against a wall."