Image: The Maltese Eagle's website
A solid gold sculpture by name of The Maltese Eagle and worth an estimate of $6 million has purportedly been stolen. The violent robbery was said to have occurred in suburban Vancouver where the 18-pound sculpture, crusted with 763 diamonds, was forcibly taken from its owner.
According to Acting Sgt. Sarah Swallow of the Delta Police Department, the robbery occurred on Sunday night "on the street".
Ron Shore, its owner, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries but has since been released.
"I'm not sure whether [Shore] was transporting it or what," said Sgt. Swallow, of the eagle. "It's definitely a very high-value robbery and we'll be looking into the circumstances around that."
Swallow added that the investigation is currently at an early stage, so the police won’t be releasing more information about the robbery without first confirming descriptions of suspects and establishing “exactly what happened” with witnesses and victims involved.
Shore said that the sculpture was displayed at the ‘Art! Vancouver’ exhibit over four days prior to the heist. The eagle, set for transit, was being loaded onto a vehicle when the robbery occurred.
"I struggled as hard as I could and yet wasn't able to prevent the robbery," said Shore.
The Maltese Eagle, which has its own eponymous website, was originally crafted in memory of Shore’s sister-in-law who passed away two days after the birth of her daughter.
Described on its website as the world’s “largest diamond encrusted solid gold sculpture ever made”, profits from the sale of the eagle would contribute towards Breast Cancer Research.
The Maltese Eagle, which stands on a 10k yellow gold bottom pedestal, has a solid 18k white gold head that’s been encrusted with 763 diamonds, with eyes made of two 1.1 carat matching pear-shaped diamonds. Its tail feathers are made of 14k white gold, while its rock, body and base are made of 14k yellow gold.
Shore, a self-proclaimed ‘ultimate treasure hunter’, said that the original concept of The Maltese Eagle came about in 2005 as the theme of his book, titled The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle.
"It's been very difficult over the last couple of hours to come to know that eagle is now gone," said Shore, who initially hoped to raise $25 million.