A rare bronze statue that went missing from Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school over 30 years ago was recovered by Cambridge police in Somerville in late May, according to an announcement issued Tuesday.
The three-foot statue was by Cyrus Dallin, the same sculptor who created the Paul Revere monument in Boston's North End.
The missing statue, called "Praying Knight," depicted a knight on horseback, and it was commissioned in 1929 as a memorial to the 11 Cambridge Rindge and Latin students who died in World War I, according to the announcement, which was sent by the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum.
According to the Cambridge Police Department, the Somerville family that had the bronze sculpture was cooperative with the police investigation and willingly returned the sculpture. No charges were filed against them.
Dan Riviello, a spokesperson for the Cambridge Police Department, said the Somerville family did not want to be identified, but Cambridge police released the following statement about the family's involvement.
"The family in possession of the statue sent an inquiry to an art specialist several months ago in an effort to determine what the statue was. That specialist contacted the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, who contacted the Cambridge Police Department to alert them that the statue in question had been missing for over 30 years. After a follow-up investigation by Cambridge Police Detective Brian O'Connor, the family in possession of the statue was located and willingly returned the statue to its rightful owner. No charges were filed."
According to the announcement sent by the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, the statue, which was installed at the high school in 1930, was "undisturbed for 50 years until 1980 when it disappeared from the school during a renovation project."
The museum, which is located in Arlington, also provided an account of the statue's recovery:
"The existence of Praying Knight, also known as Modern Crusader, came to light when Heather Leavell, co-chair of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, was contacted by Boston art dealer Andrew Zieff. Zieff had requested help identifying a bronze signed by Dallin in order to provide an appraisal for a client. Leavell immediately recognized this work as Dallin’s Praying Knight. After consulting with the Museum’s attorney, John Leone, of Arlington, she immediately contacted the Superintendant’s Office of the Cambridge Public School Department. When police were asked to look into the disappearance they were able to recover the statue with the cooperation of the people in possession of it who willingly returned it to its rightful owner."
The museum noted the recovery of the statue was well timed, as it is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dallin's birth, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin will be able to re-install the statue in a recently completed $118 million renovation to the school.