It was a disheartening theft, especially in this season of Advent.
A rare bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ was stolen from a Thomas Kinkade gallery in Zionsville, Indiana. Barbara Jennings, the gallery owner, suspects the theft happened on Saturday.
"What sort of person would steal Christ? That's how I felt," said Jennings, according to a report by Fox59.
According to Jennings, the past weekend was hectic, with many people coming and going due to Small Business Saturday and the Zionsville parade.
"We were maybe so busy, we weren't always attentive to every person who was in the gallery at all times," she said.
Jennings' staff did not notice anything missing until Tuesday.
Rhonda Crawshaw, the gallery manager, said, "I walked in the room where the sculpture was, and there's an empty space."
The stolen 20-pound artwork was one of only 30 "Prince of Peace" sculptures crafted by Kinkade, an American painter who produced many Christian artworks and who became known as the Painter of Light. Jennings said the piece they had was number eight and was a collector's item valued at around $7,500.
"You get punched in the gut, that sort of feeling," Jennings said. "It's hard to describe."
According to Jennings, she and her staff have lost more than their gallery's show piece. With the theft, some of their trust and sense of security have gone as well.
"It's disappointing that somebody would come in and steal a sculpture of Christ," said Crawshaw.
Cameras inside the gallery did not yield any leads, as they were not shooting in the direction of the sculpture.
With no information to work with, the Zionsville Police could only record the sculpture as missing for now. One hope is that the authorities will be alerted if someone tries to pawn the stolen artwork.
Jennings has also asked gallery owners from around the country to inform her if anyone tries to sell the sculpture to them.