Portions of outdoor piano installation stolen, 1 month after it was vandalized

Portions of a community art project in Sunnyside have been stolen, almost exactly one month after the same exhibit was vandalized.

If you've walked or driven under the LRT bridge on Memorial Drive and 9A Street in northwest Calgary in the past three months, you may have found yourself treated to an impromptu concert.

Quartet — a project by placemaking artist Tamara Lee — invited passerbys to spontaneously tickle the ivories of an outdoor piano or take a seat and listen on chairs attached to platforms surrounding the instrument.

Sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, Lee said someone stole the three chairs and the heavy platforms they were securely attached to. 

"Very disappointing but also baffling," she said.

In November, the front panel was torn off the 850-lb., 100-year-old Doherty upright piano.

"When you put something out in public as an offering or a gift, you hope for a response. And you know that it may not be the response that you want … when things like this happen you have to be realistic," Lee said at the time.

Tamara Lee/Twitter

That vandalism, at least, had a happy ending.

Within a few hours of discovering the damage she had heard from two neighbours — one who offered to build a box around the piano and secure it for free, and another who said if the piano was too damaged, he'd be happy to donate his to the cause.

She's asking anyone with information about this week's theft to contact her on Twitter using the hashtag #QuartetYYC, and has put up a sign requesting information and also stating that she has a city permit for the installation at the site.

The entire Bow to Bluff corridor is set to undergo a revamp, and the team behind that redesign has expressed interest in integrating the Quartet installation in a more permanent fashion in the future.