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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Naked Donald Trump statue stolen in South Florida

The naked Donald Trump statue first made an appearance on a Wynwood billboard last week.

Alex Harris | Miami Herald

The naked Donald Trump statue first made an appearance on a Wynwood billboard last week.

22

September

From our partners at the Miami Herald:

Who has the naked statue of Donald Trump?

That’s the question people are asking and police are trying to solve.

What was meant for everyone to admire — or loathe —in a public space, the nude Donald is no more, swiped from the roof of an art gallery in Wynwood.

Miami police were called to the scene of the crime early in the morning, when a witness saw three men climb onto the roof, snatch the nude statue and toss it into a truck.

Now cops want to talk to a man named Pedro Alejandro Rodriguez as a “person of interest.”

The naked statue of the presidential candidate was stolen from the rooftop of the Wynwood Arts Complex, on Northwest Second Avenue and 23rd Street, around 3 a.m. Thursday.

Miami police said the getaway truck, a 2013 gray Ford F-150, belongs to Rodriguez. The Coral Gables man posts frequently on his Facebook page about Wynwood and says he’s the co-founder and owner of Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide.

He has been convicted of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property in the past, according to public records. He is a registered as a voter with no political affiliation.

Since arriving in Wynwood last week, the naked Trump statue has led a nomadic life. It first appeared last week atop a Wynwood billboard at the request of Mana Wynwood, a company that paid for the $50,000 statue to appear at its Wynwood and New Jersey properties. Police asked that the statue be moved over traffic concerns.

“The theft of the sculpture will not undermine our determination to stand strong for what it represents and what we want to communicate: a profound statement against any forms of bigotry, racism, and discrimination during this presidential election campaign," wrote Eugene Lemay, President of Mana Contemporary, in a statement.

The New Jersey statue was stolen Sunday evening. The theft was a nearly four-hour endeavor, according to The Jersey Journal.

The statues are the work of an activist art collective known as INDECLINE. The collective installed statues in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Cleveland and, most recently, Las Vegas. The Miami and New Jersey statues were the only ones erected with permission from the building owner. The others, which were almost immediately removed in most cases, were more fleeting.

The title of the piece — “The Emperor Has No Balls” — refers to the statue’s diminutive and incomplete genitalia.

A spokesperson for the collective said the statues were on a “kamikaze mission” and he’s not surprised the Miami and New Jersey installations were stolen. One of the statues will be auctioned on Oct 22 at a Beverly Hills-based auction house, where it’s expected to net around $10,000 to $15,000.

The INDECLINE representative, who did not want to be named, said the new-found value of the statue makes it “way too inviting” for thieves.

“It’s lame because we wanted the message to resonate until the election, but you have to applaud the guy for pulling it off,” the spokesperson said. “It sounds like we share a lot of similarities with the guy who took it.”

INDECLINE would happily replace the piece, but they want Mana to be comfortable with an installation that could draw criminal activity to their building.

The only downside to the theft? INDECLINE wishes it has been the work of a “60-something-year-old vet who loves Trump.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2016 1:06pm]

    

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