An 80kg sculpture was discovered missing from Rizal Park in Manila last weekend.
Park officials discovered the artwork missing from its outdoor spot in the park’s Kanlungan ng Sining (Artists’ Haven) area. The area also holds the office of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), the owner of the sculpture.
The sculpture “Un-MASS-King” was created by artist Juan Sajid Imao, son of National Artist for sculpture Abdulmari Imao. It was donated by the artist to AAP. The artwork stands four feet tall and weighs around 80 kilos and is made of brass and resin. It is estimated to be worth between P200,000 to P500,000. It was installed in the Kanlungan for public display at the request of Imao.
The National Parks Development Council (NPDC), which manages Rizal Park, is reviewing footage from CCTV cameras in the park and is coordinating with police to locate and retrieve the artwork.
Also, security has been tightened in the park including the Kanlungan area. Rizal Park is secured by roving security guards and members of the tourist police of the Philippine National Police. GMA News Online reported that the AAP did not originally coordinate security in its complex trusting that people will not steal the installed artworks.
Reports said that investigators are looking at all angles including the possible involvement of contractors doing renovations in the park. Several portions of Rizal Park, including the Kanlungan, underwent renovations recently. Possible motives being investigated include selling the artwork underground or selling its brass metal per kilo.
Rizal Park is the national monument and mausoleum of the Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The park contains numerous sculptures, many created by well-known artists.
Rizal Park is a major tourist destination in the city of Manila.