- The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is reporting that a piece of the totem pole that sits outside the museum has been stolen.
- Photos below show the totem pole with the missing piece.
- The museum is asking for any and all help in locating and returning the hand to its rightful place.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts) is reporting that the left hand of the totem pole that sits outside the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavillion, on the north side of rue Sherbrooke, has been stolen.
They shared the news to their Instagram page, you can see the post embedded below, where they note that the hand was stolen between the evening of September 19th and the morning of the 20th.
This would mark the third theft to occur at the museum in September, after the infamous 1972 robbery (still considered the largest art theft in Canada to date) which occurred on September 4th, and the 2011 theft of a Roman marble head on September 5th.
Perhaps there is something about the fall air that makes art thieves develop particularly sticky fingers?
Likely a complete coincidence, it is interesting to see that all of the robberies that have happened at the MBAM have occurred around this time of year.
The hand that is currently missing is particularly troublesome as the totem pole it belongs to was given to the museum as part of Montreal's 375th celebration and is an expression of the artist's experience living through residential schooling in Canada.
Below is the post that was shared by the Museum that shows the missing left hand of the totem pole and requests that any information about the missing piece be shared with the museum.
According to the CBC, if the hand is not returned the museum will ask the artist to re-carve a new hand.
The totem pole, which has called this space outside the museum home since 2017, was carved by Canadian artist Charles Joseph, pictured on the right, below.
Joseph, himself, has been the topic of discussion in recent years due to his close friendship with the controversial Canadian professor and writer, Jordan Peterson.
Their friendship was of some controversy, though Joseph explains Peterson's place in his familial "box," beautifully in this interview done by The Walrus.
If you encounter the hand or have some information about where it is, you should contact the Museum immediately via their Instagram page, or directly by phone at (514) 285-2000.