NEWS

$15K Haida mask stolen in Whistler

07/18/2012 10:46 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT
RCMP are searching for a carved Haida mask valued at $15,000 that was stolen in a break and enter in Whistler, B.C.

The mask was taken from a private residence sometime between July 4 and 9, police said Wednesday.

The ceremonial mask, depicting a dogfish mother, is one of six limited-edition replicas carved by Haida artist Ben Davidson, son of legendary artist Robert Davidson.

The carving is nearly one-metre tall and is adorned with horse hair.

"This is the first time any of my pieces that I know of have been stolen," Davidson told CBC News.

Whistler RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton said the mask is unique.

"While I was stationed in Haida Gwaii, I was fortunate enough to see Ben Davidson carving it” Knapton said. “Each replica has subtle differences, allowing this one to be specifically identified."

Vancouver gallery owner Douglas Reynolds has one of the five other replica masks and said he knows the private collectors who own the stolen piece.

"They've asked me to keep an eye out, because if somebody had stolen it what are they going to do with it," Reynolds said.

Police are asking that anyone with information about the theft call the RCMP or anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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