Dreaming. by the late Gerald Laing, was taken from Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon. Staff at the museum last saw the bronze head at 3.45pm. The alarm was raised 45 minutes later when a worker noticed the 12.8kg piece missing from the first-floor display.
Strathclyde Police are reviewing CCTV footage from a number of areas within the museum.
The art gallery reopened in 2006 after refurbishment. Management said this is the first time a piece has been stolen since then. A spokesman for Glasgow Life, which manages the city museums, said: “This was a deliberate act. Someone has stolen from the people of Glasgow. As with all of our collections, this work belongs to them. We are working with the police and other agencies and would appeal for the safe return of this work of art.
“Since reopening after refurbishment in 2006, we have welcomed more than nine million visitors to Kelvingrove and had no incidents of work being taken from public view.
”Thanks to the quick action of staff, we have been able to identify a short timeframe where we believe the bronze was stolen and are in the process of examining CCTV footage from across the museum to identify those responsible.”
Laing sculpted the piece in 1979 and it was bought by Glasgow Museums and the National Fund for Acquisitions in 1981. It was valued for insurance 10 years ago at £5,000 and is now estimated to be worth around £20,000, Glasgow Life said.
The sculptor died last year aged 75.