FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale police are investigating after someone stole a portion of a bronze statue along the New River.
Robin Haines Merrill, executive director of the Upper Room Art Gallery, said the Seminole girl statue was created by Nilda Comas, who donated the statue last year to the city.
The statue is located at Smoker Family Park at 501 S. New River Drive East.
Merrill said Comas, who is currently in Italy, asked her to file a police report after neighbors notified her about the vandalism.
"It was a labor of love," Merrill said. "It took many, many years, and we all have to protect each other. We can't have art and culture vandalized out in public. There has to be more respect."
Merrill said the palm fronds were removed from the statue, which would have required a ladder, saw and more than one person.
Merrill said the palm fronds are worth $25,000 and weigh more than 100 pounds.
She said it's possible that someone stole them to sell for scrap metal.
There are no security cameras in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale police or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.