LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Two art canvases have been stolen off a recently installed public art display in downtown Loveland.

So far police have no leads in the investigation and now the local artists are making a plea to get their works of art back where they belong.

“Loveland was the first community in Colorado to have a public arts program. We definitely have a reputation for the arts and we are very proud of that,” said Marcie Erion, director of the Office of Creative Sector Development for the City of Loveland.

On Christmas Eve a brand new art installation for a downtown revitalization project was stolen.

“It looks like they cut the pieces off the canvas from the wall,” Sgt. Mike Haloran of the Loveland Police Department said.

Two canvas paintings were stolen from the vacant building on 4th Street next door to the Heartland Cafe.

“Somebody would have to have a ladder who really wanted that piece because of the height of where it’s at,” said Nicole Cutler, the artist behind the large scale octopus painting taken in the theft. “It kind of breaks my heart a little bit because it didn’t have the time to be seen. I mean it has this great (Hwy) 287 exposure.”

Also stolen was a replica of the famous Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of Starry Night, created by artist, Angela Canada-Hopkins.

“It was a little disappointing for the community. I am just happy someone else was able to enjoy it even if the entire community can’t,” Canada-Hopkins said.

Sixteen young artists helped to create this project built to revitalize downtown.

“I felt like people really appreciated the art here so (the theft) wasn’t something I had anticipated,” Erion said. “So now I’m very concerned that things might have changed.”

Even with more than $8 million worth of local art throughout the city, officials say the theft won’t change a thing.

“We are going to continue to put work up and we are not persuaded by this and we will work to revitalize downtown and keep art work in the public eye.”

Loveland police say the theft is considered a class four felony. Any with information about the crime please call the Loveland Police Department.

– By Nina Sparano


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