On Thursday morning at around 3am, the Chen Wen Ling Sculpture (Childhood – Morning) was intentionally broken in to two parts, snapped at its feet, with the upper part stolen from the site even though the destroyed work is no longer of any value.
We find it extraordinary that this would be possible and are investigating how this happened. There were a number of security guards on site and the efforts required to remove the sculpture that was firmly fixed to the ground would have been considerable and noisy.
On Friday afternoon, the WA Police arrested a 24 year old individual in connection with this crime and recovered the stolen section of the sculpture.
Artist Chen Wenling has written this statement:
"I was shocked to hear that my work Childhood-Morning was damaged and stolen from the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Cottesloe. I feel sorry and pity for what was happened! The news of the theft of my sculpture has not changed how I feel about your wonderful city, but I do not understand how this man could behave this way. I would like to thank the founding director David and many of artists and people who wrote email to censure of this behavior and support me. I still remember I were exhibition in Cottesloe in 2011, I greatly enjoyed my visit to your city last year for Sculpture by the Sea and to experience many feelings of friendship from so many of you. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful city and I was honoured that my sculpture was voted the People’s Choice Prize and the Kids’ Choice Prize. I believe that a beautiful place and friendly people and wonderful art can let us forget unpleasant and towards a better further. See you soon Australia!"
In order to repay the artist for the loss of the work we are asking the people of Perth to consider making small donations so that together we can apologise to the artist to make up for some of the offence and hurt this has caused.
Donations can be made at the catalogue & information marquee on site, or at our site office at the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, or by cheque posted to Sculpture by the Sea Incorporated PO Box 470, Cottesloe, WA 6011 or for donations direct to our public donation account please email our General Manager Finance & Admin Andrew Williams email@example.com. All donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.