PLYMOUTH – Artist Diana Naples spent 100 hours meticulously adhering tiles to the 150-pound lobster sculpture, just featured as one of the major highlights on the Lobster Crawl tour.
The Chamber hosted its Lobster Release Kick-off Party at Cabby Shack on Water Street Wednesday, Aug. 3, and Naples was one of the thirty artist honorees to receive recognition for her work.
Then, sometime in the wee hours of Saturday morning, vandals stole the lobster, ripping the sculpture from its base at Nelson Park and leaving behind broken shards of plaster and tile.
“We think it was taken about 2 a.m. by two men in their 50s in a green pickup truck,” Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin O’Reilly said. “Apparently, they attempted to steal one across from Isaacs’ and somebody yelled at them and they took off and they must have come down here.”
There were no known witnesses to the Nelson Park theft, however, according to O’Reilly.
“I’m heartbroken,” Naples said. “I spent at least 100 hours on it. It was ceramic tiles, and glass tiles and grout. The antennae were painted gold.”
Perry’s Market sponsored the lobster, paying $5,000. Naples was given a stipend for her work, and the Chamber covered the cost for the materials.
But money isn’t the issue here, O’Reilly said.
“The monetary value is minimal compared to the community value of it,” he added. “I have no idea what motivated these people. Who could get into the mind of somebody deranged enough to want to steal a piece of public art? She’s distraught and I don’t blame her.”
The community is now rallying around Naples, he said and offering to donate money for a reward fund.
O’Reilly noted that, whoever stole the painted lobster sculpture, had to do serious damage to it to wrest it from its perch. It was bolted to a 700-pound piece of cement, and the vandals bent the metal plate right off the concrete, he added. In the process, they probably destroyed the lobster.
Police are investigating the theft, O’Reilly said.
The Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce just celebrated the unveiling of the Lobster Crawl, which features 30 beautifully painted and decorated, 5-foot-tall lobster sculptures placed in key locations on the waterfront and downtown areas. Public art displays are known for drawing tourists and boost the economies of the towns and cities that host them.
Story by: Emily Clark for Wicked Local