Just as mysteriously as “Music Bear” vanished, it reappeared on its pedestal in Daisy Park this week.
The 6-foot-tall fiberglass public air statue was ripped from its base some time before the morning of Oct. 19.
It returned with a phantom note written on loose leaf and taped to its chest.
“Macon Crimes Go Away” was written on the paper with the hashtag “Bear Lives Matter.”
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The note was signed “Deadpool” and “TMNT,” presumably Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When “Music Bear” disappeared, Macon-Bibb County’s Parks and Recreation Department filed a report with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies have investigated other “bearnappings” in recent years since the colorful creatures were commissioned for the “Bear Trail” unveiled in 2011.
Days after the trail was in place, a couple of Mercer University students were implicated in the destruction of another bear in Tattnall Square Park. The students paid restitution and the original work of art was replicated.
In 2015, other students fessed up to abducting “Music Bear” and “Symphony Bear” from its perch in Tattnall Square Park. They admitted to being intoxicated when dumping them near the university president’s home on campus.
Most recently, deputies were called for another case of vandalism of “Symphony Bear,” which again was knocked off its base at Tattnall Square Park.
“Symphony Bear” is being held for safe keeping at the Parks and Recreation office until its feet and pedestal can be repaired.
“The artist will have to be the one to attach it because it’s made of fiberglass,” said Robert Walker, director of the county department.
“Music Bear” wasn’t back for long as it, too, needs to be repaired. Its feet were ripped from the base and have to be reattached.
A work crew carted it off in a pickup truck Tuesday morning.
In 2009, a $15,000 Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant was awarded to commission six statues by local artists through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia in the project coordinated by the Macon Arts Alliance.
The Macon Arts Alliance learned of bear’s return on Thursday, but had no update on who will pay for the repairs.
Anyone with information about the culprits who nabbed “Music Bear” is asked to call for a sheriff’s investigator at 478-751-7500 or phone anonymous tips to Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.