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Stolen antique weathervane recovered 40 years later and returned to Vermont

An antique weathervane that once sat on top of a Vermont railway station before it was stolen in 1983 is shown on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Barre, Vt. The weathervane was recently found and returned to Vermont last week. The Valley News via AP

BARRE, Vt. — An antique copper weathervane that was swiped from a Vermont railway station 40 years ago has been found and was returned to the state last week, the Vermont Agency of Transportation has announced.

“We are delighted to see this valuable historic artifact and beautiful piece of art returned to its home here in Vermont,” Judith Ehrlich, the agency's historic preservation officer said in a statement on Monday.

The 1910 weathervane is of a steam locomotive and coal tender and was made by W.A. Snow Iron Works Inc. It sat on top of the White River Junction station in Hartford before it was stolen Nov. 3, 1983, the transportation agency said Tuesday. Nearly 40 years later, it was consigned to New York auction house Sotheby’s, officials said. The organization Arts Loss Register, which has a database of lost, stolen and looted art, antiques and collectibles, confirmed that the piece was the stolen weathervane, so the auction house pulled it from sale, the transportation agency said.

The state currently owns the White River Junction station. Arts Loss Register worked with the state to return the weathervane last week, the transportation agency said. Sotheby's paid the $2,300 cost to ship it to Vermont, the state said.

Ehrlich said the transportation agency is working with the state curator to pick a great location for the weathervane “so that it may be enjoyed once more.”

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