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06-2022

Historic wolf statue gifted from Benito Mussolini is stolen from Eden Park overnight

Historic wolf statue gifted from Benito Mussolini is stolen from Eden Park overnight

Click to enlarge What's left of the Capitoline Wolf statue in Eden Park.  - Photo: Cincinnati-OH.GOV

What’s left of the Capitoline Wolf statue in Eden Park.

The Capitoline Wolf statue that has been sitting in Eden Park since 1931 has been stolen, and the city is now offering a $50,000 reward for its return.

The statue – a bronze work depicting a wolf taking care of two young boys – was a gift from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Intended to honor Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, Roman statesman, farmer and the name of our beloved city, represents two thirsty boys Romulus and Remus, twins whose story deals with the founding of Rome. In fact, various images of boys feeding a wolf have served as symbols of the Romans since ancient times.

Click to enlarge Capitoline Wolf statue in Eden Park before it was stolen.  - Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Capitoline Wolf statue in Eden Park before it was stolen.

So how did the idol get here? Mussolini sent it in 1929 to the Conference of the Sons of Italy… eg. He gave Cincinnati an exact replica of the one found at Rome’s Musee Capitolini, but it was replaced in 1931 for a larger one, and this is what has remained ever since. marked with Il Governor di Roma alla Citta di Cincinnati 1931 Ano X – “From the governor of Rome in 1931 to the city of Cincinnati (10 years of Mussolini’s reign)” – and until now, it was sitting in the Twin Lakes.

While the origin of the statue in the Queen City is already a bit questionable, its story now becomes even more interesting.

According to an incident report from the Cincinnati Police Department, the statue was taken on the night of June 16 at around 8 p.m.

How could you steal a giant bronze statue, you may ask? Well, this barbarian bit it with claws and took it, according to a release from Cincinnati Parks, leaving only Romulus and Remus.

While we know how, everyone is currently trying to figure out why. The Parks Department says it is working with police to determine the value of the historic piece of art and to find it as a matter of course.

“As you know, we often deal with issues of vandalism, littering and dumping in our parks, however given the historical nature of this piece this is beyond disappointing. The historical significance of such public works displayed in our parks and is intended to be displayed for the enjoyment and study of the general public,” writes the Parks Department.

Cincinnati Council member Jeff Kramerding announced on June 17 that he was submitting a proposal that the city hold a $50,000 reward for information leading to the statue’s safe return. In the motion, Kramerding writes, “it was a crime against the arts, a crime against the parks, and a crime against all citizens of Cincinnati.”

If you have any information about the whereabouts of the statue, contact the Cincinnati Police. Tip online or call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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