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Tulsa ballerina statue to be restored; more pieces found

TULSA, OKLAHOMA (AP) – Enough pieces of a bronze statue of a famous Native American ballerina that was stolen in Tulsa have been recovered to restore it, historical officials said.

The additional missing pieces of the statue of Marjorie Tallchief that were found include the head, said Tulsa Historical Society and Museum Director Michelle Place, according to the Tulsa World.

Still missing are the lower portion of each leg, both feet and one arm, but Gary Henson, one of the original sculptors, said he will be able to restore it.

“You won’t be able to tell that it was ever cut up when I’m done,” Henson said. “Nothing is ever really lost,” he told the newspaper.

The statue is believed to have been stolen on April 28 and cut into pieces that have been found at different recycling centres in the Tulsa area, Place said, but no arrests have been made.

Tallchief and her sister, Maria Tallchief, were among five renowned Native American ballerinas from Oklahoma known as Five Moons and a bronze statue of each was unveiled outside the Tulsa museum in 2007.

Maria Tallchief is among five women who will be individually featured on United States (US) quarters next year as part of a programme that depicts notable women on the coins, the US Mint announced in March.

Marjorie Tallchief was the last survivor of the five and died last November.

Sculptor Gary Henson, who made the Marjorie Tallchief statue that was stolen from the Tulsa Historical Society and cut for scrap metal, shows the parts which he will reassemble at the Boys and Girls Club in Chelsea. PHOTO: AP