Eight-foot bronze statue stolen from St. Ambrose Church in Salt Lake City
For two decades, an eight-foot bronze statue of Saint Ambrose has greeted Sunday morning parishioners upon entering the Salt Lake City Catholic Church. Yesterday, however, there was a vacant concrete pedestal at the north entrance. The statue had been stolen sometime late Friday evening or early Saturday morning.
Father Andrzej (Andrew) Skrzypiec, pastor of St. Ambrose, arrived at the church Saturday afternoon to prepare for the 5 p.m. Mass and noticed the empty pedestal. A few screws were left lying on the ground.
Due to the size of the sculpture, he suspects the culprits may have used a crane to remove it. "There is really nothing sacred or respected anymore," the priest said. "Churches were something that even criminals wouldn't vandalize." Father Andrew and members of the parish felt violated and sad.
The statue, originally valued at $30,000, was sculptured by Angelo Caravaglia in 1988. Saint Ambrose is the parish's patron saint. He was a bishop of Milan and a defender of orthodoxy against the Arians in fourth-century Italy. He was named a Father and one of the four original Doctors of the Church.
In the stolen bronze piece, Caravaglia depicted Saint Ambrose in a walking position with his right foot in front of the left. He carried a book tucked under his left arm and a sword in his right hand. A miter on his head signified his role as a bishop.
Father Andrew and parishioners are pleading for the safe return of the statue and are hoping it isn't senselessly destroyed for scrap metal.St. Ambrose Catholic Church is located at 1975 South 2300 East in Salt Lake City. Anyone with information about the stolen statue is urged to call the parish rectory at (801) 485-5610.
(From an article at Examiner.com)
UPDATE!! Monday 2215 MDT I just got word that the statue has been recovered. I will try to post details tomorrow.