Chesterton Tribune

Bronze fish missing from iconic IU fountain found

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) A bronze fish stolen three years ago from Indiana University's iconic Showalter Fountain has been recovered by school officials in less than pristine condition.

The water-spewing fish recovered this week is ragged and has "been beaten to death," campus art curator Sherry Rouse told The Herald-Times.

"It's got glass in it and paint on it and it smells a little of beer and less wonderful smells," Rouse said.

The fish is believed to be a replacement for one that vanished during IU's raucous 1987 national basketball championship celebration. The replacement was stolen from the fountain in 2010.

The fish was recovered from an undisclosed location not in Bloomington by school officials who offered immunity from prosecution after an Instagram photo of the sculpture was posted online.

"A person born and raised in Bloomington saw the picture and replied: 'You know what that is, don't you?' And the picture came down immediately," Rouse said.

Rouse hopes to have the fish restored and back on the fountain in time for this month's Little 500 weekend on April 19. She said she's already spoken with Venus Bronze Works, the company that refurbished the fountain and its centerpiece in 2009.

The company said it would work on the fish at no charge "if I could just get it to them, which was a nice gesture," she said.

There aren't any fish in the fountain now.

"We took them out prior to the Big Ten championships," Rouse said. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."




Posted 4/9/2013