The statue had recently been fitted with the temporary clay head — topped with a spiky orange crown — crafted by a local artist, which garnered international attention and was compared online to a character on “The Simpsons” or to the infamously botched restoration of a fresco of Jesus in Spain.
Lajeunesse says the stolen head was returned to him on Friday, by a woman he knew.
He says the woman, who he wouldn't identify, came upon the head through her work, but didn't realize it belonged to the church until she saw the media reports about the orange replacement.
Lajeunesse says the replacement had already been removed by the time he got the original head back.
He says it was necessary to prevent the orange clay from staining the white stone of the statue.
Lajeunesse says for now, the statue will remain headless. Before replacing it, the church needs to figure out how to secure it safely to the statue and prevent it from being stolen again.
Legend has it this statue of Will Rogers on his favorite horse Soapsud was positioned for a very particular reason: Soapsud's bum faces school rival Texas A&M University. Before each home football game, Will Rogers is wrapped in red crepe paper, and during national tragedies the statue is wrapped in black crepe paper.
At UVA, the epic Greek author has more to worry about than the Trojan War: It's tradition for students to streak from the steps of the Rotunda -- 740 feet away -- to the statue of Homer. They kiss or smack his butt (depending on their height) and then run back to the Rotunda.
David McNew via Getty Images
UCLA's Bruin Bear is one of the most protected statues around. Every year around the UCLA and University of Southern California rivalry week, the bear is guarded -- either by physical walls or a group of students called the "Bruin Bear Security Force
" -- from vandalism as part of the schools' rivalry.
Presiding over Columbia University's campus is Alma Mater, a statue of the goddess Athena. Legend has it, the first person in each class to find an owl hidden on the statue will be the valedictorian -- or marry a Barnard College student.
The Herndon Monument was erected in 1860 in honor of Captain William Lewis Herndon. Now, it's covered in lard at the end of every year and plebes (first year students) work together to climb and put a sailor cap atop it. For tradition.
Lebanon Valley College
The life-size statue of "Hot Dog" Frank Aftosmes has been on campus since 1997. The statue commemorates Aftosmes, who opened a hot dog shop in town in 1928 and was "a counselor, resource, friend, and #1 fan
" to the college.
The Washington Post via Getty Images
During finals, students at the University of Maryland-College Park give food and other sacrifices
to school mascot Testudo, a Diamondback terrapin. In December 2013, the offerings actually caught on fire
Also at UMD: how could you not love this adorable statue of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Maryland alum, chatting with Kermit the Frog?
UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images
Abe Lincoln sit powerfully in front of Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. On graduation day, newly minted alums climb all the way up to his lap to sit, whisper goals and secrets, and -- of course -- take the ultimate graduation picture.
This lifelike statue of Margaret Thatcher, dedicated in 2008, is the only statue of the former British Prime Minister in North America, as of 2013.
Phil Cardamone via Getty Images
On tours of Yale's campus, student guides tell hopeful students and their parents that it's tradition for Yalies to rub the toe of former university president Theodore Woolsey for good luck. ...But ask any actual student if they rub the toe, and they'll say absolutely not. A similar fake tradition exists with the John Harvard statue at Harvard University.
Mary Baldwin College
Da and Da are replicas of the statues Ham and Jam, who sit in front of Administration. Every year
, senior art students paint Da and Da in fantastical bright colors and patterns.
The eagle statue in front of BC's Gasson Hall is one of the most well-known landmarks on campus. Originally used as decoration in a garden, it was donated to the college as they knew it would be taken care of -- the eagle is, after all, BC's mascot.
Paul J Everett/Flickr
This statue outside the school's library is supposed to represent Moses chastising the Israelites for worshipping idols. But with a finger pointed up like that, he can only be saying one thing: Notre Dame is number one.
William the Silent has occasionally been brought into a Princeton-Rutgers rivalry, with Princeton students vandalizing the statue
. Additionally, according to campus lore, should a female virgin walk by, the statue whistles. Thus far, there has been no recorded whistling.
Students at Bryn Mawr College (home to dozens of wild traditions) leave offerings, often homemade, and handwritten notes to the statue of Athena for help both in and out of school.
The horned frog -- or really, lizard
-- sits in the center of TCU's campus, representing the school's mascot. Students rub his nose for good luck before exams.
Alex Wong via Getty Images
A statue of the founder of Georgetown was actually not ready in time
for its own unveiling. A painted plaster cast was in its place as dignitaries came to honor the statue, and the real statue was swapped in in the middle of the night.
Sabrina was brought to Amherst over 150 years ago and has since been subject to a series of pranks, involving dressing her up, stealing her, and flying her over athletic events. After the class of 2008 stole her in their senior year, they returned her at their five-year reunion in 2013. Less than two hours after she was returned, she was stolen by the class of 2003. Less than an hour after that, the class of 2014 snatched her away, and her whereabouts are currently unknown
In 1966, the year Joe Paterno became head coach of the Penn State football team, his wife Sue painted the lion orange to incite
unity and excitement for the homecoming game against Syracuse. Since then, students and fans participate in an annual Guard the Lion Shrine
This statue of the school's founder was brought to Lehigh in 2005
. It is a true-to-life representation of Packer, down to the cane he walked with, which was made out of a deer vertebrae.
This statue of William Marsh Rice is a large part of student life (and decoration
)/ But his real claim to fame was back in 1988 when a group of students managed to rotate the 2,000 pound statue
180 degrees. It took the students one hour and $400 to rotate him. It took professionals three hours and at least $1,500 to rotate him back.