The large bronze sculpture of an eagle that disappeared from a popular recreational trail for about three weeks this summer has found a new perch.
“Inquisitive Eagle,” as the artwork is known, is on display inside the Fowler Park Recreation Center, according to Forsyth County government spokeswoman Jodi Gardner.
“This location was selected because it offers a secure area, while still being a park facility where the public has access to and can enjoy the sculpture,” she wrote in an e-mail.
The 85-acre Fowler Park is off of Castleberry Road and Hwy 9 in south Forsyth.
The statue is 60 inches tall, 54 inches wide, 45 inches deep and weighs about 400 pounds. The county is leasing it from sculptor Gregory Johnson through a grant provided by the Forsyth County Arts Alliance.
The eagle likely will remain at the center through the duration of that lease, which ends in March, Gardner said.
The sculpture was reported stolen Aug. 28 from the Bethelview trailhead of the Big Creek Greenway.
Following a tip from a local business owner, it was recovered in good condition Sept. 19 at a residential storage shed.
Pedro Garcia, 29, was later arrested and charged with theft by receiving after buying the statue and storing it in the shed.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s investigators have said Garcia told them he “suspected the eagle was stolen when he purchased it,” which is what the charge is based on.
In this case, the charge is a felony because of the value of the statue, which is about $18,500.
Garcia has not yet appeared in court.
Given the size of the sculpture, investigators have said it likely took at least two people to remove it.
Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said the investigation is ongoing and no additional arrests have been made.