A metal recycling center saved the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department from a wild goose chase for a bronze bird statue stolen from a fountain in Cochran Park.
About 24 hours after one of the fountain’s four goose castings was reported missing Sunday, a recycling center employee called St. Paul police saying someone attempted to turn the sculpture in as scrap metal.
The bird is back in the possession of the parks department. St. Paul police said Monday they have not arrested anybody in connection with the fowl play.
The quartet of metal geese — each 28 inches tall with a 19-inch wingspan — surround a bronze sculpture called “Indian Hunter and His Dog” created by famed St. Paul artist Paul Manship in 1926.
The city originally installed the sculpture in the Summit Avenue park but moved it to Como Park after it was vandalized, according to a parks department’s website. A replica was built for Cochran Park.
But after vandalism problems continued, the city moved the original sculpture back to Cochran Park in 1996 and placed the duplicate in Como Park.
Parks spokeswoman Clare Cloyd said Monday that the department is “working with our community and public art partners to reassess the best way to provide continued public access to the art while making sure that it is not compromised.”