NEWSER– An 18-pound, solid-gold eagle statue adorned with 763 diamonds and a massive emerald recovered from a 17th-century shipwreck has been stolen—but it wasn’t exactly a Mission: Impossible-esque heist. Owner Ron Shore says he had the “Maltese Eagle,” apparently worth somewhere between $5 million and $9 million, near Vancouver, BC, on Sunday. A man tells CTV that Shore bragged that the valuable piece—which had just been on display at an art exhibit—was in his backpack while attending a church concert. Witnesses later saw two men beat Shore on the street before grabbing his backpack. Shore then tried to hang on to the assailants’ vehicle, reports the National Post. “I struggled as hard as I could and yet wasn’t able to prevent the robbery,” Shore tells CBC News, adding a security guard was present. He was treated at a hospital and released.
Police are saying little about the incident other than they are trying to “establish exactly what happened” and get descriptions of the assailants. Shore says he mortgaged his house to commission the statue years ago after his sister-in-law died of breast cancer days after giving birth. “I thought the bulk of my life had been selfish and I had not given back to the community enough,” he tells CNN. He wrote a book with clues to a real-life treasure hunt—the eagle was one reward—and hoped to raise $100 million for breast cancer charities, but book sales were poor. Recently, he had hoped to sell the statue and use the proceeds to fund a charity concert. But “without the eagle, I don’t have anything,” he says. “I’d hate to think it’d be melted down,” the sculptor adds. “That’s my fear.”
Not really much to say besides