$20,000 sculptures mistakenly tossed into landfill

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CRAIG, Colo. -- A big misunderstanding in a small northwest Colorado community led to the disposal of $20,000 in public art.

Two large-scale Native America sculptures were created by a local, well-known artist (Bernie Rose) who passed away six years ago.

They had been sitting outside the KOA Campground in Craig for 15 years.

The campground recently got new owners who didn’t realize the importance of the pieces.

The artist’s widow, Kathy Shea, noticed last week the sculptures were missing. So she questioned the campground’s new owners.

“They told me that a guy in a pickup came by and drove away with them,” Shea said.

The owners stretched the truth about the disappearance of the sculptures to spare Shea’s feelings, according to the Craig police chief.

In reality, the owners had the sculptures sent to the county landfill.

The sculptures were worth $20,000.

“They asked no questions,” Shea explained. “Just loaded them up and took them away”.

For their part, the owners of the campground feel awful and plan to create a scholarship in Shea’s husband’s name for art students at the local high school in Craig.

No criminal acts were committed, according to the police chief.

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