FBI to Assist Police in South Jersey After Sculpture by Late Phoenixville Artist Goes Missing

Image via the Cherry Hill Police Department.

The Cherry Hill Police Department has asked the FBI for help in determining what happened to a sculpture by Nathaniel Choate, the famous artist who lived in Phoenixville, that was being used for a movie in South Jersey, writes Melanie Burney for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to police chief William Monaghan, the sculpture went missing in November from an apartment, and there were no signs of forced entry. The owner had loaned the sculpture of an unfinished marble bust of a Sudanese woman to a family member as a movie prop.
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Monaghan said that it has not yet been determined if the sculpture was “misplaced, relocated, or stolen.” Police are now looking for the public’s help in locating the bust. The FBI’s Art Crime Team in Philadelphia is assisting.

“It’s important for us to recover it,” said Monaghan.

Choate is a well-known sculptor and artist who died in 1965. He lived in Phoenixville and displayed his artwork at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He also taught a sculpture class at the Academy’s summer school in Chester Springs in 1938.

“He had a significant career,” said PAFA President David Brigham. “He is an artist with a national reputation.”

Read more about the missing statue in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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