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Stolen: West Hollywood's 200-pound pink bulldog

The pink bulldog sculpture by artist William Sweetlove was placed in a Santa Monica Boulevard median last week. Authorities say it was stolen early Monday.

June 11, 2013|By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
  • A poster shows an image of the stolen bulldog sculpture. It was part of an installation of six sculptures scheduled to remain on Santa Monica Boulevard through September.
A poster shows an image of the stolen bulldog sculpture. It was part of an…

The lost bulldog being sought in West Hollywood ought to be hard to miss.

It's pink. It's wearing sneakers on its front paws. It has a water bottle strapped onto its back.

Oh, yeah. And it weighs 200 pounds.

Authorities say the bulldog is actually one of six sculptures placed last week in a Santa Monica Boulevard median in advance of last Sunday's gay pride parade. They said the pink pooch was stolen early Monday, perhaps as a prank.

The bulldogs — three pink ones and three red ones — were cast in resin by Belgian artist William Sweetlove. The boulevard installation was scheduled to remain in place through September.

"They're so fun that people might not take them seriously," said Andrew Campbell of the West Hollywood Economic Development Division. "Maybe somebody didn't realize they were stealing artwork."

The statue's 200-pound base was left at the scene of crime, near Barney's Beanery. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were expecting to review nearby stores' security tapes in hopes of tracking down the dognappers.

Campbell declined to estimate the value of the statue: "We don't want to encourage anybody to steal the other five."

Sweetlove could not be reached for comment Tuesday. But one of his representatives said the artist is willing to give a frog statue worth $1,600 as a reward for the person who leads authorities to the bulldog.

"The theft might have been a joke, but it would be nice to have it back," Kris Ghesquiere said.

"We and the city of West Hollywood did this for the people. Everybody does stupid things sometimes. We want to give people a chance to give it back with no consequences."

Ghesquiere said Sweetlove's sculptures carry an ecological message.

"Climate will change soon: We'll have a lot of water, but not enough drinking water, so he provides his animals with drinking water, backpacks with food, shoes to protect them from the heat," he said.

The Santa Monica Boulevard installation marked the first time that Sweetlove's work has been displayed on the West Coast. He plans to visit West Hollywood in September, bringing 5,000 penguin statues with him, Ghesquiere said.

bob.pool@latimes.com

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