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Friday, April 6, 2012

Statue of Liberty stolen by copper thieves

Officials feign outrage as statue cut up and sold to smelters

Amanda Laffatt
La Lune de la presse internationale


New York Port Authority officials were slightly surprised yesterday when Liberty island opened to tourists. Instead of a dominating and historic symbol of liberty towering above them, tourists saw only the stone pedestal base. Early reports indicate that sometime during the night Thursday copper thieves made off with the statue.

"We don't really have any suspects at the moment," said NYPD spokesman Jay LeSelle. "Obviously whoever did it had some experience. But before we can arrest suspects and press charges the city, state and federal governments need to file the appropriate paperwork. To my understanding that hasn't been done, so at this point it's worth more in copper than it's worth in liberty."

Government officials generally expressed little or no reaction to the theft.

"There are a rash of copper thefts going on at the moment, even though the economy is improving. You just have to take it as it comes," said Interior Secretary Nick Ellandime. "We could try and do something, find the culprits and all that, but what's the point? It's too late, the statue is already gone and melted. We don't need to play the blame game, let's just move on from here."

Some fringe citizens' groups have stated publicly that someone should be held accountable. Even better, they claim, would be to actually find the people responsible.

"I mean, whatever, like, someone just, like, comes in and takes the thing? And the government's all like, 'that sucks but hey, peace and love?' Something doesn't seem right to me," said noted conspiracy theorist and ALCU member Ben Lernen. He pointed out to the La Rochelle Times the recent sale of Liberty Island to New World Holdings Unlimited, an international investment conglomerate headquartered in Dubai.

Since then, Lernen explained, workers at the statue have had their hours and security clearances modified. New equipment and managerial staff had been brought in from overseas, and the city negotiated several million dollars in cash and property deals in exchange for rights to the statue. Confirmed sources of information are difficult to obtain at this time, however.

City officials declined to comment, stating the investigation is "non-going" and therefore no statements can be issued at this time.

International reaction has been subdued. France, notably, called the theft "regrettable but ingenious" and said French industries would be happy to help purchase the smelted copper by the ton at low market prices.

"We are so tired, but we will do whatever we can to help get this back for our allies," said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Destin Toulouse. "If that means buying black-market metals at fire-sale prices, then so be it."

Pending the outcome of the non-going investigation, some have said that the statue should be rebuilt. However a La Rochelle Times / Elysée poll indicated that a majority of citizens would prefer to see the copper used to make new electronic devices, calling the Statue of Liberty "outdated," "useless," and "a total waste of an idea." Some have recently suggested a large statue of Steve Jobs should be built in its place, preferably out of a less expensive base metal.


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