It is eye-catching and bold, a $17,500 bronze sculpture that sits on top of a fountain outside a spa in Palm Desert was stolen from the owner, but the artwork may also be a loss to the public.
Lindi Biggi is the owner of “Venus De Fido”, a dog-friendly spa in Palm Desert. She saw the nearly 8-foot-tall bronze fountain “Cupids on Dome” at a consignment store and thought it would be perfect for her newly built spa.
However, the joy of displaying the artwork in front of her business only lasted her a couple of years as a man on a bicycle stole the piece over Easter Sunday.
“The camera only picks up one skinny legged guy,” Biggi said describing the recording of the man stealing the bronze piece captured by a security camera.
She is convinced he must live nearby since he comes and leaves on a bike.
Biggi said, “The curious part of this is that the guy is riding a bicycle, so he’s obviously from close around here and this thing weighs 70 pounds.”
But it seems as if drama follows the “Cupids on Dome”.
She battled the Palm Desert City Council in 2017 to approve reimbursement of the art piece that cost nearly $18,000.
A Palm Desert ordinance requires new developments to display artwork or pay a fee to a city fund. If the city approves the art, the fees will be returned to the builder.
After several council meetings, Biggi deeded the artwork to the city.
She said, “So it really belongs to the public but I am really financially responsible for it.”
Biggi plans on placing several flyers around the neighborhood with photos of the man captured on the security in hopes of finding her favorite art piece.
“It’s almost funny what I’ve gone through to have this thing and then have somebody on a bicycle come and steal it from me,” Biggi said. “I mean if it weren’t for the fact that I want it back, and I could smack the guy on the head, but if it weren’t for that I would have to think that’s it’s really kind o funny.”
The stolen fountain was reported to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the department does not have an update at this time.