Carved mask stolen from Yukon government building

Carved mask stolen from Yukon government building

The Yukon government is hoping to recover a carved mask, plucked from a wall at the government's main administration building in Whitehorse.

The artwork, called "Wiseman", was made in 2004 by the late Alex Dickson, a carver from Teslin. It had been on display at the government building for the past three weeks, as part of a larger exhibition of Yukon art.

"This is a collection that the Government of Yukon cares for on behalf of the Yukon people," said Garnet Muething, the government's collections coordinator.

"It belongs to the people of Yukon, and it's something we put out on public display so that they can benefit from it."

Muething says staff at the building noticed on Thursday morning that the piece was missing. RCMP were notified immediately, she said.

She's appealing to the public for any information about what happened, in hopes of recovering the artwork.

"We're really hopeful that we're going to have the best possible outcome here, specifically out of honour for this artist who was an incredibly important part of this story, and out of respect for his family," she said.

Alex Dickson died in 2010.

The mask, about 22 centimetres high and 17 centimetres wide, is carved from birch and decorated with abalone inlays and horsehair.

"If anyone knows Mr. Dickson's style, he was a very amazing carver and it's a very, very distinct mask," Muething said.