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Stolen charity cow sculpture recovered in Durham

Posted October 8, 2012

— A charity cow sculpture that was stolen over the weekend from a Durham car dealership was found Monday at a home on Garrett Road, officials said.

The sculpture, which is part of a fundraising effort for the North Carolina Children's Hospital, had some minor damage and will be touched up by the artist before being returned to Johnson Lexus, at at 1013 Southpoint Autopark Blvd. 

Details about its recovery or possible charged against whoever had the sculpture were not released.

The 125-pound fiberglass "Cow is Greener on the Other Side" sculpture was removed from its 400-pound concrete base outside the dealership late Saturday or early Sunday.

The cow is one of more than 80 life-sized cow sculptures on display across the Triangle through December as part of CowParade North Carolina 2012. The sculptures will be auctioned in January to raise money for the children's hospital.

Johnson Lexus turned over footage from its security cameras to Durham police, said Sean Alazraki, the dealership's community relations manager. But the dealership also offered a 48-hour amnesty for the safe return of the sculpture, he said.

"Our prime concern is getting the cow back unharmed so it can benefit North Carolina Children's Hospital as intended," Alazraki said in a statement before the sculpture was recovered. "No questions asked. Simply drop it off or let us know where we can pick it up."

The sculpture is valued at $10,000, officials said.

"Having been stolen, the cow cannot be displayed or sold,” Ron Fox, vice president and owner of CowParade Global Limited, said in a statement. β€œThere is no purpose to the theft other than harm to the children's hospital.”

A second sculpture at Johnson Lexus, "Binary Bovine," was left unharmed, officials said.

In August, two CowParade sculptures in Chapel Hill were vandalized.

An oversize bow tie was taken from a sculpture designed by fashion designer and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumnus Alexander Julian. A day later, another sculpture was upended, and a portion was broken.

Two UNC-Chapel Hill students were charged with damaging personal property in the second vandalism.


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  • RallyJean Oct 9, 2012

    umom07 you were right on!!! The security camera did assist.

  • YippiYiyoKiYay Oct 8, 2012

    Seen the price of milk these days?

  • Desiderata Oct 8, 2012

    Once the vandals are caught they need to be doing time for charities to "pay" the price the sculpture would bring at auction for the childrens hospital...actually they will not let me say what REALLY needs to be done to them. Promise then they wouldn't think of stealing even a thought!

  • Pepe Silvia Oct 8, 2012

    "Where in the world do they find this kind of money to throw around on objects such as these?" - paultaylorsr100

    Who is "they"? The artists who make them or the people who buy them?

    They are for charity, and many are purchased by companies who already set aside money each year for charitable donations. Putting a giant cow in your lobby is a great way to say "Look, we gave money to a children's hospital"

  • xoxoLovinLifexoxo Oct 8, 2012

    Not sure if it has already been stated but the cow didn't cost $10,000 to make. This is the value that it is expected to be auctioned off at. Sometimes the companies who donated/designed the cows will often by their own cows back and the money will be donated to the Children's Hospital, while also allowing the company to write the money off as a charitable contribution.

  • SmokeWagon Oct 8, 2012

    ..."Just where exactly do you hide a life-sized cow anyway?..."

    Well, they should be easy to spot.....if it is a straight cow she will be hiding out inside the play area at a chick-fil-a...if not she will be accross the street carrying a sign and kissing another cow...!!!!

  • jenzcatz99 Oct 8, 2012

    Just where exactly do you hide a life-sized cow anyway? Someone knows who took it, just offer some reward money for it.

  • workinghuman33 Oct 8, 2012

    Isn't this the 3rd cow-tastrophe since the beginning of this art installation? I do not remember this much thief or vandalism (10 years ago)during the Red Wolf Ramble campaign. It seems like people have no respect anymore for others or other peoples property. I guess if you have no respect for yourself then you can't have any respect for others.

  • storchheim Oct 8, 2012

    If it's a college prank that's one thing. If it was just mindlessly to destroy what someone else worked on, it's typical.

  • storchheim Oct 8, 2012

    I feel sad for the artist who created this cow.