$24K bronze sculpture stolen from outside Vancouver gallery

A thief has made off with a 160-kilogram, $24,000 bronze statue that was on display outside the doorway of a Granville Street art gallery.

Security video captured a white man wheeling a dolly to the front steps of Petley Jones Gallery at 5:23 a.m. Monday.

In the footage, the man disappears from view for a few minutes, then reappears dragging the heavy, metre-tall piece of art down the stairs before loading it on a dolly and rolling it away. The entire crime took less than three minutes.

"I'm really shocked," said gallery manager Vesna Zaric. "It's been there for almost two years, and we've never had a problem with anyone attempting anything. Even when we tried moving it inside, we weren't able to move it."

The work, entitled After Marino Marini by local artist Fahri Aldin, is of an abstract horse and rider. 

"[Aldin] is ... extremely well regarded. This is a unique piece, there will never be one like it again," said Zaric.

It's the latest in a recent rash of valuable art thefts from galleries in the area, but Zaric says there's no way to know if the cases are connected.

"All of those are original pieces. It's a horrific idea to think that someone might melt it down for something else," she said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Petley Jones Gallery or police.

Pelty Jones Gallery