A bright-blue garden gnome, one of four once perched on a pedestal outside the Cornell Art Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, is missing in what the museum is describing as a “gnome-napping.” The 35-inch gnome is part of a contemporary exhibit called “Lit” on display at the museum until August 28.
The blue gnome, once bolted to a pedestal outside the museum, was taken overnight on Thursday, said New York-based artist Sam Tufnell, one of 16 featured in the exhibit.
“It’s unfortunate, that was a one-of-a-kind gnome in that colour,” Tufnell said.
The museum is offering a $500 reward for the safe return of the gnome, according to Cornell’s Instagram account. Since the theft, the museum has taken down the three remaining gnomes, leaving only the pedestal outside in the exhibit’s only outdoor work. They plan to replace the stolen gnome once they have a “more permanent” method of securing all of them, Tufnell said.
“Ultimately I’m not sure if it’s an act of appreciation or absolute hatred, but we would very much like for the gnome to be returned and be reunited with the series,” Tufnell said.
The gnomes are made from resin with added pigments to appear vivid in colour.
Anyone with information about the missing gnome is asked to contact the museum.