Sculpture Stolen From Metro East Campus Found In Lake

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- A piece of art stolen from Lindenwood University in Belleville has been recovered from the bottom of a Metro East Lake. The “Glass Tower” was stolen by two men caught on a security camera in early January.  Police had few leads until Saturday. 

 Three boys at St. Clair Lake spotted the artwork underwater.  Lindenwood Univeristy Vice President Jerry Bladdick said, “Delighted, we’re just excited we’re very delighted.”

The artwork was created by Brother Mel Meyer, a Marianist who has a studio and workshop at St. John Vianney High School.  It appeared the statue has been underwater for quite a while.  Camron Vielweber and his two teenage friends discovered it while swimming and fishing.  Vielweber said, “I just thought it was a piece of metal just under their sunken.”

Another lake resident, Stephanie Webly said her family members spotted the statue in the lake back in January.

With the help of some men they pulled the art out of the water long after thieves sent it to a watery grave. Captain Don Sax of the Belleville Police said, “Could very well be, it was prank but who knows maybe they intended to steal it for the scrap metal but maybe when the publicity hit they got scared and went to dump it.”

The $8,500 statue re-joins other works of art on the campus created by Brother Mel, he has since donated the missing statue to the school.  Now there is another mystery surrounding the missing artwork: who gets the reward money for finding it?  The boys who found in the lake, Stephanie Webly, or the men who helped pull the art out of the water? 

Camron Vielweber said, “I think we should all like split it.”  Stephanie Webly agreed, “I think we should share it.”  University officials said they plan to give the reward to the person who called police and reported the artwork found.  They are working with Belleville Police to determine who that was. 

Meanwhile, campus officials plan to have artwork cleaned up and the secured in place.