Thieves stole the golden egg off a Salvador Dalí sculpture valued at $2.8 million.
The Salvador Dalí sculpture Space Venus on view at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art in St Petersburg in 2018. Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images.
On Sunday morning, Susanna Strem, the Vancouver arts patron who has brought five large-scale Salvador Dalí works to Vancouver in recent years, went to inspect one such piece. The work was Space Venus, a 12-foot-tall Dalí sculpture of a headless, armless torso strewn with ants, a melting clock, and large golden egg, which was installed to great fanfare at the corner of the Canadian city’s Hornby and West Hastings streets last May. But something was amiss—at some point Saturday night, anonymous vandals had made off with the golden egg that sat atop the lower part of the torso.
Distraught, Strem, who owns the downtown Vancouver art space Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, implored the vandals to return the part of the sculpture, explaining to the Vancouver Sun that, while the whole work has been valued at $2.8 million, “There is absolutely no value to the egg alone.”
She went on to say:
This isn’t just a huge loss for the gallery, but for the entire city and the millions of (future) guests who will no longer be able to enjoy the intact sculpture. Sadly, it may also be the last time we are able to fund the presentation of a magnificent, original Salvador Dalí sculpture to the people of Vancouver.
She added that hopefully the security cameras from nearby stores had captured some footage that might help find the perpetrators. The Sun mentioned that Space Venus was supposed to only be on view through October, but a new contract was negotiated to keep it on view in Vancouver into 2020.