'One-of-a-kind,' 100-pound piece of art stolen from Reed College

A sculpted, wooden panel that's valued between $15,000-$17,500 was stolen from Eliot Hall at Reed College.

UPDATE: The wood panel that was taken from Reed College over the weekend was found Wednesday morning leaning against one of the school's buildings, Reed spokesman Kevin Myers tells KATU news.

ORIGINAL STORY:

After a sculpted, wooden panel worth at least $15,000 was stolen from a building at Reed College last weekend, school officials said they're willing to forgo criminal charges if the piece is returned quickly.

The panel was created by local artist Leroy Setziol and hung for years in the east foyer of Eliot Hall, the school's arts and science building. It's approximately 6'X4' and weighs about 100 pounds. School officials say it was stolen between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

"Saturday was Renn Fayre," Annie Healion, a freshman, said Tuesday, "so Renn Fayre is from Friday to Sunday. It's like the celebration of students, end-of-the-year party sort of thing."

Kevin Myers, a school spokesman, says the theft happened when the normally busy classroom building was still open for the celebration.

"It's the end-of-the-year party so there was probably twice as many non-Reed community members as there were Reed community members," said Myers.

"Leroy Setzoil was a woodcarver and is one of the hottest artist on the market today, with all the interest in mid-century modern," Gary Germer, a local art appraiser, told KATU. "This piece that was stolen would have a full retail value of around $15,000 to $17,500."

Some of Setzoil's work happens to be on display right now at the Portland Art Museum and for sale at the Good Mod furniture store downtown.

"We've been contacted by several other individuals regarding this piece already," a Good Mod staff member emailed KATU, "so we are keeping our eyes peeled for anyone trying to sell this piece through our channels. Such a shame as that piece is quite valuable."

"The panel, in addition to being one-of-a-kind and monetarily valuable, has great symbolic significance to the college," Director of Community Safety Gary Granger said in an email to the school community on Monday.

The piece was donated to the school by the late John Gray, a Reed college benefactor and trustee.

Granger said school officials are willing to waive criminal charges if the panel is returned by Thursday morning.

Healion said she's disappointed because Reed College has a special code.

"We have this thing called the honor principle," Healion said, "and when people mess things up like that it's too bad."

Anyone with other information about the theft is asked to contact Community Safety's non-emergency line at 503-517-5355.


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