Canadian Police are looking into the robbery of an 18-pound, solid-gold, diamond-encrusted eagle statue in British Columbia, worth about $5 million according to the statue’s owner.
The golden statue was supposed to be the centrepiece of a campaign launched in conjunction with a series of books and events to raise money for cancer research.The statue, called The Maltese Eagle, was supposed to be the centrepiece for “The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle,” a campaign launched in conjunction with a series of books and events to raise money for cancer research, owner Ron Shore, who operates a telecommunications company, told CNN.
The eagle had been on display for four days at the Art! Vancouver exhibit and was in transit to a secret vault when the theft occurred on Sunday night.
Shore said he mortgaged his house and used inheritance money and credit cards to finance the making of the eagle.
“Unfortunately what will probably happen is that all of the jewels will be pulled out of the head because it had basically a cape of diamonds,” sculptor Kevin Peters, who spent nearly four years creating the statue, told NewsTalk 770. “And it has three types of gold and will be probably melted down.”
But taking the jewells off would be difficult, and a novice would likely end up breaking some of the gems, David Ritter, president of the Canadian Jewellers Association, told News 1130.
One of the largest gems present in the statue was the Atocha Star, a 12-carat emerald that was recovered in 1985 from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a Spanish treasure galleon that sank in 1622. The Atocha Star is itself estimated to be worth at least $3 million.
This is not the first time the eagle has been targeted. In a 2010 interview, Shore told The Vancouver Sun that RCMP accompanied him and the eagle to an event because of concerns organized crime elements might be looking to steal it.