MISSION, Texas (KVEO) – The art community in Mission is lamenting the loss of one of their art installations. The monarch butterfly statue in front of the Upper Valley Art League building was stolen.
The monarch butterfly statue was one of 40 butterflies the Upper Valley Art League (UVAL) placed around the city as a beautification project; each butterfly is unique and painted by an artist.
The statue went missing over the weekend of January 23. Visitors noticed on Monday morning that the statue was gone.
The spokesperson for the UVAL, Betty Vermeer, says is a unique piece and would be difficult to miss if spotted.
“It was a monarch butterfly, very colorful, orange and black, it would be hard to miss, and it should be the only one like it in the area,” said Vermeer.
Vermeer says there was damage to other installations and some metal sculptures were taken as well.
The organization filed a police report but have so far not had any leads.
“It’s really sad. I mean we’re a very special place here. We are for the general public to come and do art,” she said. “It always hurts when somebody comes in and destroys something.”
The organization is not alone in its search. Mission brewery, 5×5 is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest and recovery of the statue.
“There is no need to be taking things that are iconic to our town,” said George Rice, owner of 5×5 Brewing Co.
The person who provides the information will be rewarded with a free daily 16oz beer for life, as long as 5×5 is operating.
“Don’t mess with our Mission,” is a message 5×5 hopes is loud and clear.
“It makes us feel better than other people noticed, and they feel for us, and they want to help us out,” said Vermeer.
Despite the theft and damage, the UVAL is in good spirits, hoping these events will lead to more awareness about their organization.
“Maybe the disappearance of the butterfly will help get the word out that people should visit us and see everything they can do here,” said Vermeer.
If you have any information about the missing statue, you can contact UVAL at 956-580-2787.