Authorities in western Iowa’s Shelby County are investigating the theft of a statue a local landmark in Elk Horn. A solid-bronze statue of famed Danish story-teller Hans Christian Andersen was reported missing Thursday afternoon from the south side of the Danish Windmill, in Elk Horn.

The statue is valued at more than $10,000. It was removed from its foundation during the nighttime hours of June 23rd or early morning hours of June 24th. The statue was commissioned and created by Becky Eckstrom and her artist husband Tom Rosborough, of Des Moines a little more than 30-years ago.

It was purchased with $4,000 in donations was raised through bake sales, flea markets, and even a children’s lemonade sales. The project also received financial support from the Iowa Community Betterment (ICB) program. The bust was surrounded with park benches and landscaping, and offered a place for visitors to relax. The 1848 Danish Windmill was brought over piece-by-piece from Denmark to Elk Horn, in 1975.

Anyone with information concerning the theft is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 712-755-5026.

By Ric Hansen, KJAN, Atlantic