Olympia residents are asked to be on the lookout for a yellow unicorn that went missing from Percival Landing sometime over the weekend.
The unicorn sculpture, named Cabrillo Amarillo, was part of the Percival Plinth Project, an annual public art competition hosted by Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation. It was created by artist Paul Kuniholm Pauper of Seattle. It’s made of perforated steel.
Arts and Events Coordinator Stephanie Johnson said she noticed the unicorn was gone when she came in to work Monday morning. It had been pulled off the steel plate that connected it to the plinth.
“We have no idea what happened to it,” Johnson said.
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Kuniholm Pauper said he has mixed feelings about the unicorn’s disappearance. On the one hand, he’s upset that someone would damage a piece he worked so hard on.
On the other, he’s happy someone connected so strongly to the piece that they took it.
He said that as an artist, he was taught to seek a dialogue with the public. Having the piece stolen is the “ultimate dialogue,” he said.
“It would have been nice to be compensated for it,” Kuniholm Pauper said. “But having it stolen, I know someone had a strong connection with it.”
However, he doesn’t like thinking about how the piece may have been damaged as it was removed.
The unicorn was damaged earlier this year when someone stuck U.S. Postal Service stickers all over it, Kuniholm Pauper said. Someone scrawled the words “dead inside” on the stickers. He said he’s not sure what that meant.
“It was definitely some sort of cryptic message directed at the unicorn or at me,” Kuniholm Pauper said.
Having a Percival Plinth Project piece go missing is rare, Johnson said. The project began in 2011, and the only other theft occurred in 2012. The piece was found a few days later in Budd Inlet and reinstalled soon after.
Johnson said she hopes for a similar ending for Cabrillo Amarillo.
“I hope we see that unicorn again soon,” Johnson said.
Anyone with information about the missing unicorn is asked to contact the Olympia Police Department at 360-753-8300.