George Ewing will be happy to have his sculpture back in one piece.
A wing broken off the carving of an aboriginal man, by Nanaimo artist Dan Richey and titled Dancing With the Eagles, has been returned.
The damage was discovered June 7 and it was assumed the wing had been stolen, but the missing portion of the sculpture was found lying in the street near the statue on Fitzwilliam Street by a city worker about a week later, Ewing said.
It is unclear where the wing was from the time it went missing until it was found, but the worker took it back to the city works yard on Labieux Road, where staff contacted Ewing to tell him they had the item.
“Fortunately it’s a very seamless fit where it came off, so I’m going to drill it, pin it and glue it and match the colour in and I’m confident I can do a virtually seamless repair on it,” Ewing said.
Ewing, who purchased the sculpture in 2011 and has had it on display near his business since, said he doesn’t believe the damage was actually the result of malicious intent or attempted theft.
“I know the temptation is for kids to climb up it and get a photograph and the break is where you’d reach up and grab if you were a smaller person,” Ewing said. “I would like to believe it wasn’t malicious intent, but that it was more just somebody in exploratory mode and went, ‘Oops, uh oh.’”