Thieves steal Marilyn Monroe fish statue off Monument Ave. - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Thieves steal Marilyn Monroe fish statue off Monument Ave.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond police are investigating a very fishy theft in the Near West End.

"Marilyn" might be the most recognizable fish in Richmond. The sculpture was modeled after Marilyn Monroe in her famous number, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." However, the fish was stolen some time last week, from its most recent home along Monument Avenue.

Carrera's jewelry store owner, Rejena Carrera, commissioned the five-foot sculpture for Richmond's Go Fish project in 2001. Marilyn netted the top prize.

"She's a one-of-a-kind piece. She was created by a local artist, who has a great reputation. And she's just part of my art collection," said Carrera. "It's part of the history of the arts world in Richmond."

Since its debut, the fish has been displayed outside Carrera's jewelry store, near the Omni Richmond Hotel, and most recently on Carrera's front lawn along Monument Avenue.

Carrera says Marilyn has became so popular, she's even been stripped. "Mostly, it's her jewels that are stolen, and obviously, they're not real. People have stolen her hand. She's been pushed over, and her arm's been broken," said Carrera.

However, never before had Marilyn been fish-napped. Last week, when Carrera and her husband were away, someone stole the sculpture, worth several thousand dollars.

"I have no clue. I'm guessing somebody stole it as a prank," said Carrera.

It wasn't a grab-and-go operation. Whoever stole this statue had to first unbolt it from it's stand. It also weighs about hundred pounds, according to its artist Jason Winebarger.

Now Marilyn is truly a fish out of water, and Carrera has been left reeling over her favorite piece of art.

"It means a lot to me. It's part of my life," she said.

Carrera's family has started a Facebook page to help find the fish. If you've seen Marilyn, call Richmond Police at (804) 780-1000.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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