News 4 helps find “Max” sculpture missing from Myriad Botanical Gardens

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A sculpture originally believed to have been stolen from the Myriad Botanical Gardens downtown has been found, by our very own News 4 team no less.

On Thursday morning, the officials with the Myriad Botanical Gardens filed a police report after a foam sculpture depicting the character "Max" from the children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are" was missing.

"We are pretty sad this morning to learn that someone stole our Max sculpture from the Children's Garden. Local artist Nick Bayer created it. We got a grant to pay Nick for his hard work & made a commitment to keep it in this location all summer. Please keep an eye out. Thanks." they posted on Facebook and Twitter.

The sculpture was found while News 4 was downtown gathering video for the story, hours after interviewing the artist and a staff member with the botanical garden. The "Max" sculpture, which is about two feet wide and three feet tall, was nestled away in an alcove located in the Children's Garden. It was a few yards away from where it should have been.

Bayer said he spent about three weeks making the sculpture among other pieces for the Myriad Botanical Gardens' annual Children's Garden Festival which ended Sunday.

"They’re large three-dimensional pieces and there’s a lot of artistic time that goes into that and also just the fabrication and everything else making it all happen. It takes time," he said. "I did my own artistic interpretations of those characters."

Marissa Raglin, Director of Public Events for the Myriad Botanical Gardens, said they're still unsure if the sculpture was stolen and returned or if it was possibly moved by accident. However, she said staff members made multiple rounds Thursday morning and did not see the sculpture.

"We have security that patrols the area of the gardens very frequently, however, moving forward, we’re going to amp up that security to ensure that things like this don’t happen again," Raglin said before the sculpture was found. "Also beginning July 1, we do have a director of security and safety joining us so we’re excited for more patrols and more added security to benefit the gardens."

Raglin said they are still going forward with a police report for a separate sculpture which was damaged.

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