Stolen Jesus statue returned to Toronto church with apology

Dec. 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

TORONTO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Toronto church said a stolen statue of a begging Jesus was returned with an apology note saying the theft "seemed like a good idea at the time."

The Rev. Maggie Helwig of the Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields said the statue, stolen Nov. 30, was found behind the church Thursday morning with a note, The Toronto Star reported Friday.

"We are very happy," Helwig said. "I'm glad that whoever took it did the right thing in the end and it's wonderful that he's back."

Helwig said the note appeared to be written by the thief.

"It rained last night so it is a bit hard to make out but it looks like it says, 'I'm sorry, it seemed like a good idea at the time,'" Helwig said.

Timothy Schmalz, the sculptor who created the begging Jesus statue, titled "Whatsoever You Do," said he was pleased to hear of the artwork's return to the church.

"It makes me feel good and it shows Toronto is an amazing city," he said. "I think in a lot of different cities you would never see it again. In Toronto you get it brought back and you have a letter posted on it that says 'I'm sorry.'"

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