President Garfield statue decapitated

May 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

HIRAM, Ohio, May 18 (UPI) -- Officials at Ohio's Hiram College said a statue of President James Garfield was decapitated only hours after its dedication ceremony.

The officials said the 95-year-old sandstone statue of the 20th U.S. president, who was assassinated in 1881 before completing a full year in office, was dedicated Thursday at the college's Garfield Institute for Public Leadership and the head of the monument was noticed missing the next morning, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Monday.

College spokesman Shawn Brown said the head could have been removed by hand due to the brittleness of the sandstone used to create the likeness, which school trustee Paul Martin purchased at an auction and donated to the school a few months ago.

Brown said the statue was valued at about $20,000 to $30,000 before the head theft.

Police are investigating the incident.

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