Kennedy bust sculptor asks for its return - Tucson News Now

Kennedy bust sculptor asks for its return

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

In 1964, a young sculptor named Hardy Grant mentioned to a member of the Tucson city council that he had sculpted a bust of President John Kennedy, assassinated just a few months before.

He says when the council member saw it his reaction was "wow."

"It began to snowball and before long the entire community was involved," Grant says. "It was a community effort really."

On the one year anniversary of the assassination, Grant's bust of Kennedy was unveiled at an emotional ceremony.

Now, 49 years later, that bronze bust is missing, stolen over the weekend.

Police have no clues. The cameras usually trained on the Presidio where the bust has stood since 1971, were not working or were pointed somewhere else.

"We're asking anyone who may have seen something suspicious to come forward," says Tucson Police Public Information Officer Chris Widmer.

The bust is not worth much as scrap metal and it's unlikely a dealer would accept it anyway.

"Nobody is going to take it right now, they'd be insane to accept this and give money for it," says Grant. "It's a hot potato."

Widmer says the department could not find an invoice to determine how much the bust is worth but its worth is probably not measured in dollars.

"In this particular case, because of what it is, where it is and how important it is to the community" the downtown crime division and metals division are working the case together to get the word out.

For Grant it goes far beyond the dollar value.

"I spent the last two dollars I had on the clay," he says. That and 40 hours work.

"In a strange way I have a great deal of sympathy for the people who took this," he says. They've done something terrible and every hand in the city is against them."

Grant, the president of Mensa, feels the best way for the thief or thieves to dispose of the bust is to anonymously drop it off at any fire station or church, where it will be found.

"The people of this community are not going to give up looking for this," Grant says. "It could take years."

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