Virginia

‘It Really Hurt’: Vienna Group Wants Bench Bandit to Return Stolen Art

A group of artists in Vienna, Virginia, is trying to recover two hand-painted benches someone stole this summer.

Dozens of bright, colorful benches sit outside community businesses as part of the Vienna Arts Society's "Take a Seat, Vienna!" campaign.

Artists painted the 42 Amish-built benches to highlight Vienna's small-town charm.

In July, a bench titled "Spring" was stolen from 512 Maple Avenue West. Another bench titled "Big Wave" disappeared from 100 Church Street NE in August.

“It really hurt a lot,” Doré Skidmore, communications chair for the Vienna Arts Society, told News4. “I would like them to understand that they can have a second thought and bring it back. We would love to have them have a change of heart.”

"It's possible someone witnessed their theft and they may no longer be in the immediate area," Art Center Director Lu Cousins said in a news release. "We have been working with the Vienna Police Department to secure the remaining benches and we're hoping that anyone with information will come forward."

Skidmore said the organization plans to sell all of the benches during a live auction on Nov. 2. Proceeds will support outreach programs, art demonstrations and classes.

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