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CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — Cherry Hill police and federal authorities are searching for a sculpture made by a famous American artist that disappeared from an apartment. Police say a Nathaniel Choate sculpture went missing from an apartment at the Barclay Towers in Cherry Hill last November.
The piece is of an unfinished marble sculpture of the bust of a Sudanese woman that was created in the 1930s.
Police say relatives of the sculpture’s owner borrowed it in November as it was supposed be included in a movie.
“The piece was actually supposed to be the centerpiece or story line for a movie that a relative of the piece’s owner was producing, and so this relative took possession of it temporarily in order to use it for that move, and in the meantime, the movie was finished being produced, or if it was ever produced, the piece went missing from an apartment complex here in Cherry Hill,” said Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan.
The piece of art was personally willed to somebody in Cherry Hill, but police declined to say who.
Due to the cultural heritage significance, FBI Art Crime Team agents are assisting Cherry Hill police in the investigation.
Choate, who lived during the first half of the 20th century, achieved fame for his art and was regularly showcased at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the National Academy of Design in New York City.
A reward is being offered for information leading to the sculpture’s recovery or the identification of the person responsible for its disappearance.
At best, police believe the sculpture was innocently moved or misplaced.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 856-432-8826.