Famous Waddell Sculptures Stolen for Scrap Metal

worth hearing • FROM NPR – Weekend Edition Sunday, March 4, 2007 · Artist John Waddell was shocked when eight of his massive sculptures went missing last month.

The larger-than-life bronze figures, weighing at least 3,000 pounds, were stolen from his ranch in Sedona, Ariz.

Known as “industrial looting,” Waddell is the latest victim in a series of crimes targeting high-profile sculptors.

Waddell, 86, suspects the thieves stole the pieces for their copper. The metal retains as much as 90 percent of its value when it is melted down.

The pieces, known collectively as The Gathering, are worth more than $500,000 as art. Waddell believes the metal alone isn’t worth more than $5,000.

Remaining sculptures in the series have been relocated next to the sculptor’s house. A locked gate will soon surround the property.

Waddell plans to continue creating art for public display. But the last few weeks have left him pondering his legacy.

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