Shivaji Maharaj Statute Stolen From California’s Bay Area Park Found in Metal Scrapyard in San Jose
- The 440-pound sculpture is the only statue of the Maratha king in North America.
A statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which was missing from a San Jose park, has been found. The statue, which features the Maratha king on a horse grasping a sword, was stolen from the Guadalupe River Park on Jan. 31, “sawed off at the hooves,” The Mercury News reported. It was found on Feb. 7 by a Mercury News reporter. “The 440-pound sculpture was found on Feb. 9 next to a soda machine in the lobby of Tung Tai Group, a San Jose metal scrapyard north of downtown,” the report added.
Once notified, two police officers and two detectives went to the scrapyard on Jan. 9 afternoon, and interviewed its workers, and bought the statue back at the park, the report said.
The statue was first brought to the city in 1999 as a symbol of friendship between San Jose and its sister city of Pune, according to its website. Months after it was brought to San Jose, it was stolen from a home residence and later discovered by a jogger on a city trail. It was later installed by the city in 2002. This is the only statue of Shivaji Maharaj in North America.
Sunil Ganu, a San Jose resident who helped get the statue installed, told The Mercury News that he’s “so glad” it is back. “People wanted to know where it was.” Suneel Kelkar, president of the San Jose-Pune sister city organization, said told the paper that he was “happy” to have the sculpture recovered but questioned whether it could be re-installed considering its legs were cut off. “I don’t know if you can use it anymore,” he said. “I don’t know if it can be repaired.”