July 12 (UPI) -- A Chicago-based artist is pleading for information leading to the return of a 300-pound sculpture stolen from his studio in the basement of a burnt-out church.
Plamen Yordanov, 57, who was born in Bulgaria, said he and his wife were doing yard work in front of the former church Wednesday in the Englewood neighborhood when the thieves pulled up to the back door of the building and loaded the 300-pound piece, titled "Light Infinity," into a van.
Yordanov said the sculpture has been displayed in Chicago and New York.
"I assume it is still in Chicago," Yordanov wrote on Facebook.
The artist said police suspect the thieves may have stolen the sculpture as a piece of art, as it is valued at about $70,000, but he fears the thieves may be the same people who previously stole stained glass from the church.
"I don't know if it's fast cash for a few hundred pounds of brass," Yordanov told WLS-TV.
Yordanov said he has been working on converting the basement of the church into an art studio and he and his wife, Ivliana Foghis, hope to eventually convert the building into an art center.
The couple said the theft has not changed their minds.
"Next year, in two years, I strongly believe this will be a nice art center here," Yordanov said.