Busted! City can’t locate a missing Menotti sculpture

Bronze bust of Spoleto founder hasn’t been seen since early ’90s

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A 1944 photo of Gian Carlo Menotti - CARL VAN VECHTEN
  • Carl Van Vechten
  • A 1944 photo of Gian Carlo Menotti

City of Charleston employees are apparently having a hard time putting their hands on a bronze sculpture that was once on display in the lobby of the city-owned Dock Street Theatre. They told police this week that they think the piece was not stolen, but merely misplaced.

According to an incident report filed with the Charleston Police Department, a bronze bust of composer and Spoleto Festival USA founder Gian Carlo Menotti was commissioned and placed in the lobby of the Dock Street back in the late '80s. According to the director of the City of Charleston's Department of Special Facilities, the bust was last seen in the early '90s. Now, according to the report, a friend of the family that had the sculpture cast wants it to be located and put back out on display. One problem: Nobody seems to know where it is.

The complainant told police that, due to the many renovations that have taken place at the theater since the early '90s, "there's no reason to believe that the statue has been stolen, just merely misplaced," according to the police report.

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