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Cincinnati leaders to offer reward after Capitoline Wolf stolen from Eden Park

stolen wolf statue.jpg
Posted at 12:14 PM, Jun 17, 2022

CINCINNATI — The Capitoline Wolf Statue in Eden Park, a gift from the City of Rome and Benito Mussolini in 1931, was hacked off at the paws and stolen away, leaving Romulus and Remus behind.

It disappeared sometime before Friday morning.

The bronze statue was cut through at the wolf's paws and the vandals removed the wolf, leaving the paws attached to the pedestal upon which she used to stand.

Cincinnati Police have not released any information on a suspect or what motive someone might have had for poaching the mythological mother. A spokesperson with CPD said the parks department would handle releasing further information.

The statue is a replica of the Capitoline Wolf found in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. It depicts the wolf nursing the mythologized founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, when they were children.

"We unfortunately have all kinds of things happen to our parks by people that you just scratch your head and don't understand," said Rocky Merz, Cincinnati Parks spokesperson. "This being so significant is a substantial piece of public art that's been there for so long takes it to a whole new level of disappointment."

Cincinnati council member Jeff Cramerding said Friday he plans to propose a motion offering a reward for the statue's safe return. An email from his office said police believe the theft to be the work of scrappers.

The motion Cramerding plans to file will offer a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the safe return of the wolf.

"This is a crime against parks. A crime against art. And a crime against all citizens," Cramerding said. "I'd encourage whoever took this — the stakes are very serious, the city is taking this very seriously — I'd end this now."

The statue was at the center of some controversy in 2020 when Cincinnati council member Chris Seelbach tweeted that he wanted the she-wolf and her mythological sons removed because the statue was gifted to Cincinnati by Mussolini. The statue was given before the U.S. became involved in World War II and was gifted to Cincinnati specifically because the city is named after Roman dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

Seelbach later changed his mind, tweeting he would not introduce legislation to have the statue removed and it was ultimately left in its place until the theft discovered on Friday.

Earlier, in 2017, after the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, an online petition was created to remove the Capitoline Wolf Statue, as well as a statue of Cincinnatus, found in Sawyer Point.

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