Stolen statue of ballerina Marjorie Tallchief found in pieces

TULSA, Okla. — The statue, which was taken from outside the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum last Thursday, was discovered Monday morning at a recycling center in Catoosa.

Two workers at a recycling center in Catoosa recognized the cut up pieces and called police.

Part of an arm and the head are still missing.

The statue is of Majorie Tallcheif – one of Oklahoma’s and the Osage Nation’s most famous women.

The statue is one of five that honors Native American dancers in front of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum.

Together the artwork is called The 5 Moons.

Michelle Place, the executive director of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, said she’s devastated.

“I think when I first heard the news that she had been located there was certainly an element of joy right there and I guess it’s like those five stages of grief that you move through and I’m really angry now, I’m very very angry because it’s senseless, it wasn’t necessary for such a work of art that stands for so much to be destroyed in this manner and to be taken to a recycling plant is beyond devastating.”

Russ Tallchief, Majorie Tallchief’s nephew, had his own thoughts.

“Not just my family but I think the Osage people and the ballet community, the native community at large all felt very violated by this, because we feel like Marjorie and her sister Maria of course represent such a beautiful contribution to the world through ballet.”

Russ also unveiled the statue in 2007.

>>>MORE: World renowned Native American ballerina, Marjorie Tallchief, dies at 95

Tulsa police are investigating and are following up on leads.

Russ Tallchief said he’d like to see the person who took the statue caught.

“We want to see whoever took it be brought to justice and we’d like to see the statue reinstated, if we can’t do that then I hope that we can find a way to maybe replace it somehow.”

The museum said they hope the missing parts can be found so the statue can be restored.

Michelle Place said the museum would like to restore the statue to where it belongs.

“What next? And the real answer is we don’t know, we’re still somewhat in shock of this but we don’t have all the information to what all our possibilities can be. We hope that the missing parts are located certainly sooner than rather and then we’ll immediately go to sculptors and also to foundries to see what can be done ... The original molds that were at a foundry were destroyed in fire, so its not like we can just go have another poured.”

The museum said it has cameras watching the artwork.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to help with the restoration of the statue.

The link is also on the Tulsa Historical Society and History Museum website under “Donate” or you can search the GoFundMe site for “Tulsa Historical Society”.