The solid bronze bust of famed Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen that was stolen last week is back at its home in western Iowa. Lisa Riggs, manager of the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn, says the statue was brought to her house late last night.

She says the people who claimed to have found the bust returned it, though the Shelby County Sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation into the theft. The bust was discovered missing last Thursday from the south side of the Danish Windmill, and Riggs says it sustained some damage.

The damage was mainly limited to the mounting points for the bust of Andersen, which was valued at more than $10,000. Riggs says if the statue could talk, he’d probably have an interesting tale to tell, once more. “The famous author would have told the story of the adventure,” Riggs says. “He wrote so many fun stories and he was a traveler himself.”

The statue of Andersen 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 made possible thanks to $4,000 which was raised through bake sales, flea markets and other means. The children in the community even had a lemonade sale to raise funds for the project. Riggs says the bronze bust is being kept in a safe place for now and will be returned to its base when the repairs are made and the investigation into its theft is complete.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic