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Woman wanted for stealing $17,500 rock from Yoko Ono exhibition

Toronto police are searching for a woman who stole a rock worth over $17,000 from an art museum.

by Yelena Dzhanova /

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A woman allegedly stole a $17,500 rock from the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, police said late last week. The rock, part of a three-part Yoko Ono installation, featured the words “Love yourself” handwritten by the activist and artist.

Toronto police said on Twitter Friday that the incident happened on March 12 at around 5:30 p.m. and described the woman to The Toronto Star as between 55 to 60 years old. Surveillance footage shows she was wearing a red scarf with black stripes over a black coat, a black hat and black shoes.

Ono designed “THE RIVERBED” as an interactive exhibition, where visitors can meditate using rocks or contribute to the space using line artwork or string and nails.

The first part of the installation, “Stone Piece,” invites museum-goers to pick up rocks with different words like “dream” and “remember” written on them, and concentrate on the word. All visitors are invited to participate but are instructed to place the rock they pick up in the center of the room with the other stones. Due to the exhibition’s interactive nature, the number of visitors at a single time is limited, according to the Gardiner Museum website.

A rock inscribed by Yoko Ono and valued at more than $17,000 has been stolen from the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. The theft occurred on March 12, according to Toronto police.Toronto Police Department

“It’s a totally interactive [exhibit], there’s a bunch of rocks on the ground and people can walk up to them and pick them up,” Toronto police officer Gary Long told The Toronto star. “She just picked it up and walked away with it.”

The exhibition first appeared at Galerie Lelong & Co. and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City in 2015, according to the museum website. The exhibition in Canada will run until June 3, 2018.

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