Oh No! Can You Help Police Trace Woman Who Stole Yoko Ono’s $17k Rock?

The stone was taken from the artist’s installation The Riverbed at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum

Yoko Ono, Frieze Talks, 2009

Yoko Ono, Frieze Talks, 2009

Police in Toronto are hunting for a woman who appears to have stolen a single stone from Yoko Ono’s installation at the Canadian city’s Gardiner Museum last month.

The rock has an insurance value of USD$17,500 and is part of Ono’s installation The Riverbed (2015), which features a heap of river stones shaped by water. 

The artwork is typical of Ono’s collaborative and participatory practice, with the museum stating: ‘Ono has inscribed some of the stones with words, such as dream, wish, and remember. Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the centre of the room.’

But one visitor went too far, and removed a rock from the show. The stone, which bears the words ‘love yourself’ in black ink, was taken from the museum on a Friday afternoon. A police officer told the Toronto Star that the suspect ‘just picked it up and walked away with it’.

The police are now searching for a woman, of 55-60 years of age, who appeared on security camera footage wearing a black coat and striped scarf, and have appealed to the public for information regarding the theft.

The museum describes Ono’s exhibition as ‘a temporary village, a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world’: it runs until 3 June.

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