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Stolen Park City lion sculpture found in pieces

Published September 4, 2013 6:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A steel King of the Jungle that was stolen from Park City last year has been found — in pieces — in the mountains.

The $12,000 sculpture of a red and yellow lion disappeared from the Park City Kimball Arts Festival in August 2012. Somehow, an unknown contingent of art thieves managed to lug the 300-pound metal sculpture in the middle of the night, a feat that likely couldn't have been done by just one person.

The lion, the work of New Mexico artist Fredrick Prescott, hadn't been seen since until late Tuesday, when a group of bow hunters discovered the disassembled lion in the high Uintas, according to Summit County Sgt. Ron Bridge.

The hunters found the sculpture in Spring Canyon just off Bear Lake Highway, Bridge said. Three of its legs and its head had been sawed off, but all the pieces seemed to be there.

Bridge said it was unmistakabely the same lion that had been reported stolen last year.

"It's kind of hard to miss," he said.

Bridge said the lion had been in that spot for a long time, possibly since the time it was stolen. There was no evidence that pointed to who may have left the pieces there.

Last year, Prescott told The Park Record that the lion was six feet long, three feet tall and three feet wide and that two people working together might be able to lift it — but with difficulty.

It has since been turned over to the Park City Police Department.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion