Oklahoma’s Beloved Statue of Native American Ballerina Stolen and Sold for $250

ByMary E. Alvarez

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Formerly gracing the west garden of the Tulsa Historic Culture and Museum, a statue of Marjorie Tallchief was stolen, hacked to parts, and discovered to be marketed to a recycling center in Oklahoma for about $250. Tallchief, a ballerina of Osage descent, was the initial American and Indigenous American dancer to be named “première danseuse étoile” in the Paris Opera Ballet and was the sister of Maria Tallchief, the initial prima ballerina of the New York Metropolis Ballet.

The statue was 1 of in collection referred to as the 5 Moons, stylizing the likenesses of 5 Indigenous American ballerinas: Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, Maria Tallchief, and Marjorie Tallchief. They were sculpted by two artists neighborhood to Tulsa, Monte England and Gary Henson, and unveiled in 2007.

The statue was discovered missing final 7 days, and parts of it were situated at a Catoosa recycling plant on Monday.

“Marjorie’s statue didn’t have outward appendages like the many others, and is simpler to transport,” Tulsa Historical Culture Government Director Michelle Area told Indigenous News On-line, addressing why the piece might have been qualified. “Marjorie was also at the end of the statues, absent from the road.”

The Tulsa Historical Culture is elevating dollars to totally replace the statue and set up additional stability for the out of doors sculptures. As of now, its GoFundMe webpage has received about $4,000 additional in donations than its preliminary objective of $15,000. The museum stated in an announcement on Tuesday that Henson would exchange the statue inspite of not acquiring the first mould.

Meanwhile, the museum is asking those people who could possibly have knowledge about the crime to send out strategies to the Tulsa Law enforcement Office (TPD), which has launched an investigation into the subject. The TPD has not however responded to Hyperallergic’s instant ask for for comment.

At the time Henson unveiled the first sculpture, he explained that the operate was an “opportunity to specific my personal appreciation for ballet.”

“It’s a way of seeking at the human ailment,” Henson ongoing. “Here are these 5 American Indian ladies who are able to do amazing matters — to shift in approaches that most of us can only aspiration about — and who were being equipped to do well once they obtained their prospect.”


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