If anything, Sydney’s art-loving thieves have shown persistence. All but three out of the 100 fibreglass dog sculptures planted around the greater Sydney region have been stolen in recent months, revealing that people will go to any length to secure themselves a quirky piece of contemporary art.
The sculptures were part of an unusual social experiment conducted by contemporary artists Gillie and Marc Schattner to determine who would steal public art. The couple created over 100 sculptures in six months and then spent five days placing 100 of them, around Sydney.
Most of them were stolen and a few were vandalised. Initially, Gillie and Marc placed their sculptures in public areas unsecured, but all were nicked including one set which vanished before they made it to the end of the street. They moved up to plastic ties and cords and eventually used chains which proved no protection against thieves wielding boltcutters.
Gillie and Marc said they were lucky to sell art through galleries, which helped cover the cost of the stolen sculptures – but they would not be repeating the experiment any time soon. They have yet to find any of the stolen dogs, however someone recently spotted a red dog sculpture sitting atop a rooftop of a Bondi building.