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Three Inuit carvings stolen during Boxing Day break-in, gallery says

Someone broke into the gallery and stole sculptures worth more than $40,000, says gallery director Michael Warren, who believes the theft was targeted.

Three valuable Inuit carvings were stolen from Madrona Gallery in a break-in Monday morning, says the gallery’s director.

Someone broke into the gallery around 7:45 a.m. through Trounce Alley and stole sculptures worth more than $40,000, said Michael Warren, who believes it was a targeted theft.

The stolen works include a stone carving of a dancing bear worth $30,000 by Pauta Saila, a first generation carver credited with coming up with the idea of the now ubiquitous dancing bear.

“Carvings such as this are exceptionally rare and valuable,” Warren said.

Saila’s work is on the cover of leading publications on Inuit art and in museums around the globe, he said.

Also stolen were a basalt sculpture of a large owl by carver Kupapik Ningeocheak, who is based in Coral Harbour Nunavut, and a light green stone carving of a man holding a stone by world famous carver Oviloo Tunnillie.

Tunnillie was one of the first female carvers in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and gained fame by carving her experiences being a woman in the North. Her work is found in major museums around the world.

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