This jade sculpture was stolen from the Mary Winspear Centre between 11:30 and 1 p.m. on Friday. (Mary Winspear Centre)

Sculpture stolen from Sidney art show

Jade sculpture, worth between $20-40,000, lifted on Friday morning

The Mary Winspear Centre was the target of a daylight robbery when a thief made off with a sculpture worth $20-$40,000.

The sculpture, part of Sidney’s Sculpture by the Sea summer art show, was made by Vancouver-area artist Lyle Sopel and features quartz crystal bears, a tree made from tiger eye, a quartz fish, and sits on a base made of B.C. jade. In a media release from Sidney North Saanich RCMP, the sculpture was stolen from the Mary Winspear Centre on Beacon Ave. between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday Aug. 3 2018.

According to Cpl. Chris Manseau, the sculpture is 14 inches tall, 8 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and weighs 25 pounds. The sculpture has a unique serial number so it can be identified.

Sidney Sculpture by the Sea is a collaborative arts event with the Town of Sidney, Mary Winspear Centre, Sidney Museum and the Vancouver Island Sculpture Guild. The contemporary sculpture display opened on July 8 and will continue until early September.

Brad Edgett, the executive director of the Mary Winspear Centre, said he had been in contact with local auction houses and will be contacting pawn shops about the stolen sculpture. The sculpture, which belongs to the Mary Winspear Centre, was the most expensive piece in the show, and he said it was clear the thief had “cased the joint and knew what they were doing.”

“It’s obviously incredibly brazen that somebody in broad daylight would target [the sculpture],” said Edgett. He said the Centre has increased its security measures in light of the theft.

Anyone with any information on the theft are asked to call Crime Stoppers or Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and quote file number 2018-4195.

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