A giant purple penguin which was stolen at the end of 2018 has been returned ot the hotel that it calls home.
On Sunday, December 30th, the 21c Museum Hotel of Oklahoma City lost one of its most prized possessions. The large purple penguin that had adorned its lobby for years was stolen.
For whatever reason, penguins had become the semi-official mascot of the 21c Museum Hotel chain. The chain not only provides guests with a classy place to stay, but they also provide a contemporary art museum for guests to enjoy while they wait for their rooms to be prepared. Those museums also contain strangely expensive statues of colorful penguins made by the Italian artist collective Cracking Art Group.
The $3,000 penguin was stolen on the night of December 30th by someone who was believed to be a hotel guest. The suspect was in his early-to-mid 30s, wearing jeans, a dark shirt, and a black vest. He was captured on surveillance camera waddling out with the 4-foot penguin tucked under his arm.
Police later released the surveillance footage in the hopes that Oklahoma City residents would be able to help spot the purloined penguin and bring its birdnapper to justice.
It seems the strategy worked since the penguin was mysteriously returned to the hotel last Friday. No arrests have been made or charges laid, and the hotel is mostly just glad to have their bizarre purple penguin back.
“[We’re] thrilled the penguin has been returned to our flock,” a 21c Museum Hotel spokesperson told The Oklahoman.
**UPDATE to the Purple Penguin Saga**— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) January 4, 2019
The missing purple penguin has returned home - Thank you to everyone who shared and helped to bring the statue home safe! pic.twitter.com/c40cOlyOzJ
The purple penguin was produced back in 2016, when 21c contacted the Cracking Art Group to create a statue of a penguin and to use some unusual colors. Purple was chosen as it has been historically been viewed as the color of royalty. Other colors were also used and provided to various 21c locations across the country.
Each penguin costs approximately $3,000, so it’s not something that hotels can ignore the same as when people steal a towel or something.