Four people have been charged with the theft of sculpture by the internalionally renouned artist Dale Chihuly. Sections of the installation were stolen from the Denver Botanic Gardens last summer. Alex Brook, 23, Joseph Parnell, 36, were charged with theft, tampering with evidence and felony criminal mischief. Sean Sorenson, 20, and Auvia Bellamy, 19, were charged with theft. The defendants are accused of breaking into the gardens on 22 Aug and stealing a number of works by Chihuly, which were on display.
The four were arrested following a tip off from a police informant who discovered the identity of the Chihuly thieves. The charges state that Brook and Parnell allegedly took several glass cattails hiding them in a cornfield nearby. It is understood that the artwork was destroyed by a combine harvester. Officials valued the artwork at about $100,000.
Denver Botanic Gardens presented the Rocky Mountain Region’s first major outdoor exhibition of artwork by celebrated American artist, Dale Chihuly. Chihuly’s sculptures – ranging in size and form – added bold colors and dramatic beauty to the Gardens’ 24-acre urban oasis. Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art. He is internationally renowned for ambitious architectural installations around the world, in historic cities, museums and gardens.