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Statue head sought in scrap

A Winnipeg church's bronze statue of a prominent saint that was once blessed by a pope has been decapitated.

The work depicting St. Volodymyr outside the Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga in the city's north end was stolen early Tuesday morning.

A cross-like symbol seen on the Ukrainian coat of arms that's included in the statue was also stolen.

Right Rev. Michael Buyachok says the church hopes the head is sold for scrap metal so it can be retrieved and fixed.

The statue — created by Winnipeg sculptor Leo Mol — was blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Police are investigating but no one has been arrested.

"It’s a catastrophe to say the least," said Buyachok. "It’s all sad you know. To have somebody come and do such vandalism without any rhyme or reason."

"They’re very good people in this cathedral and to have this done to them, it’s just a painful experience."

He also said if the missing pieces are not returned, then another artist will have to be found to fix the statue.

Buyachok said St. Volodymyr is significant for Ukrainian Catholics because of his acceptance of Christianity in Ukraine in 988 when he was a prince.



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