Thieves boost moose sculpture from Games centre

Picasso, Van Gogh, Munch and Rembrandt: they have all had their art stolen. Now sculptor Shane Wilson can add his name to the list.

Picasso, Van Gogh, Munch and Rembrandt: they have all had their art stolen. Now sculptor Shane Wilson can add his name to the list.

“As an artist, when your art is stolen for the first time, I guess it means you’ve arrived,” said Wilson.

Wilson’s sculpture — a full moose skull and antler carving worth about $50,000 — was stolen from a display case in the Canada Games Centre on Saturday morning.

Titled Yukon Seasons, the sculpture was donated to the Yukon Permanent Art Collection and placed in the centre in 2006.

Wilson considers it a masterpiece.

The thieves walked past a bank machine and some other art without taking it, so they must really have wanted this piece, he said

“It’s a strange, backhanded compliment,” said Wilson.

The thief broke through the centre’s front door sometime between when it closed and when the RCMP was contacted at around 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The city has security cameras in the centre, and they have been reviewed.

However, a power failure on Saturday resulted in the loss of about an hour of film, said Whitehorse parks and recreation manager Linda Rapp.

The city believes it has narrowed down the window of opportunity for the theft to about an hour, but the footage is dark, she said.

“It’s odd,” she said. “It doesn’t appear to be random vandalism. Nothing was taken and or damaged other than the sculpture’s display case.

“We’ve haven’t even had one single incident of vandalism on the artwork at the centre. This is quite a shock.”

Intricate pictures of wildlife were painstakingly carved into the large antlers over three years, said Wilson in an interview from his car near his new home in Nanaimo.

“I don’t think there’s anything like it, anywhere,” he said. “No two antlers are the same. You can’t make another one.”

If money was a motivation, the one-of-a-kind piece will be hard to sell.

“My guess it that it was taken because someone wanted it, not because they could sell it,” said Wilson. “I don’t think a pawnshop would deal with that.”

More importantly, Wilson laments the loss of the piece because of who the sculpture was dedicated to.

The sculpture was dedicated to Ruth McCullough for work in fostering visual and fine arts in the Yukon.

She also was someone who helped Wilson, who spent more than 20 years in the Yukon before moving to BC get his start in the art scene.

Anyone with information on the break-in or whereabouts of the sculpture is asked to call Whitehorse RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

Calls are anonymous.

“If anyone can help, that’d be great,” said Wilson. “It would be nice to have the sculpture back.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patti Balsillie will be running for the mayor’s seat in Whitehorse in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Submitted)
Balsillie aims to serve as city’s mayor

Says she has the time, skill set to serve in full-time role

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton sits on the opposition side of the legislative assembly on March 8 after announcing his resignation from the Liberal party earlier that day. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Don Hutton resigns from Liberal caucus; endorses NDP leadership

Hutton said his concerns about alcohol abuse and addictions have gone unaddressed

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read