A Good Gravesite Spoiled

WodlawnCemeteryOur headline paraphrases a famous observation about the game of golf attributed, perhaps wrongly, to Mark Twain. Nonetheless, we are using it here to sadly address the egregious theft of a 12-by-12-inch bronze portrait from the gravesite of Samuel L. Clemens at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York.

From the Washington Post:

The Clemens-as-Twain plaque is now missing, removed from the monument by a thief whose work was recently discovered by a visitor to the cemetery, according to the Elmira Star-Gazette.

“I don’t believe it was taken for its scrap value because it’s a specialty item that will be recognized around here,” cemetery superintendent Bryce Cuyle told the newspaper. “I think it was taken because of who it was.”

Cuyle believes the likeness of Clemens-as-Twain, made and installed in 1937 by artist Ernfred Anderson, was stolen sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For shame.

Read the rest of the Washington Post report here.

Update (February 9):
The missing monument plaque is headed back to its rightful resting place. From the desk of Elmira Police Department Captain Joseph Kane:

On February 7, 2015, the Elmira Police Department recovered the stolen Mark Twain Monument plaque. The plaque was reported stolen from the monument in Woodlawn Cemetery on January 2, 2015. The plaque was recovered in good condition.

No arrests have been made and the investigation continues. Additional information or arrests will be provided when available. The Elmira Police Department would like to express our sincere appreciation to members of the community who assisted in the investigation and recovery of such an important part of Elmira’s history.

[Image via: friendsofwoodlawnelmira.org]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.