Stolen Native American Osage Woman Sculpture to be Fully Restored

A GoFundMe Page Has Been Created to Help Cover Costs

Stolen Native American Osage woman sculpture now in pieces

Under the cover of darkness on a night in early August, thieves removed the 7-foot, 400-pound Native American Osage woman sculpture from the Francois Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain in Kansas City’s Northland.

Within a few days after she went missing, law enforcement, with the help of community partners, recovered her. Sadly, she was found in pieces. The would-be metal scrappers had her long enough to chop her up, but fortunately, not long enough to sell or melt her. A few small sections of the statue were not recovered.

After consulting with the sculptor and the foundry, it appears the sculpture can — and will be — restored to her original beauty.

The original Osage woman statue cost nearly $80,000 to design, create, transport, and install. The cost to repair her is estimated to be $12,000.

“There are no funds in the budget for this expense,” explained Chouteau Fountain Founders Chairperson Dick Davis, “so we partnered with the City of Fountains Foundation to create a GoFundMe page to help cover the extra costs.”

Donations are tax deductible, and all contributions will be earmarked solely for the restoration and return of the Osage woman statue to the site.

Davis expressed his dismay with the situation, saying, “The theft and mutilation of the statue was not only a shameful felony offense, it also was an act of disrespect toward our regional Native American heritage. Restoring the statue helps restore that beautiful heritage.

He further noted, “Rest assured, enhanced security measures to protect all of the sculptures at the site are now in place to deter future criminal activity.”

Coming Soon: Northland Park Dedicated to the Founders of Kansas City

Kansas City is adding a new jewel to its crown, just in time for Missouri’s 2021 Bicentennial. A beautiful new park in the Northland will depict and commemorate the the French trader François Chouteau and the Native Americans who founded the city when they built a trading post here in 1821. And befitting a city of fountains, this park will be a work of art.

The François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain will offer a look into the past with authentic, period surroundings. Resembling the river bluffs where Rock Creek and the Missouri River converge, the fountain will spill water over limestone river rocks as mist jets create a gentle fog that hovers over the “river.” Three majestic statues will perch atop the bluff depicting a trade encounter, while elsewhere, a Native American trapper stalks his prey.

Plans also include an open plaza where groups and classes can gather as well as a bus drop-off for safe loading and unloading.

Join Us in Making History

Your generous donation will make it possible for generations of future Kansas City citizens to discover their heritage while passing the day in magnificent surroundings. Our 501(c)3 partner, the City of Fountains Foundation, is now accepting donations for the François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Foundation.

The François Chouteau & Native American Heritage Fountain is currently under construction on the west side of Chouteau Parkway, south of I-35, north of Parvin Road… nestled along the Chouteau Greenway near the Chouteau Rain Gardens. Check out our photos! We’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time.  

About the Artist – Kwan Wu

Kwan Wu is ranked among the top sculptors in the world. His ability to breathe life into his works, capturing the spirit and emotion of each piece, sets him apart. Though the subjects and sizes of his sculptures vary greatly, their quality does not, making his works quickly recognizable. His is truly fine art at its best. Kwan lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and children and works from his newly built home studio and workshop.