A thief stole a 3m Elvis Presley guitar sculpture from Nashville's Music Row ain't nuthin' but a hound dog as far as irate fans are concerned. A $US3000 ($3970) reward was offered for the culprit's arrest unless he or she returned the sculpture by Friday, officials said. One of more than two dozen individual fibreglass Gibson guitars displayed throughout the city as part of a Guitartown art project, the over-sized guitar featured a painting of Presley on the front and the words Heartbreak Hotel arrayed down the neck. It vanished on Monday from its stand in front of the RCA building. The sculpture had been expected to bring in $US20,000 ($26,500) at auction at the end of the year when the art exhibit closes, with the money going to charity.
Two days later the ten-foot-tall guitar sculpture turned up leaning against a child care center. Daycare operators called police when they saw the fiberglass sculpture with Elvis Presley's likeness on one side and Hank Williams' picture on the other. Employees at Sony/ATV Publishing on Music Row saw the guitar was missing when they came to work yesterday morning.
Company facilities manager Bobby Strickland says it was a practical joke. A note left on the guitar said the "borrowers" were going to replace it, but things got out of hand. Strickland says the people who took it are good friends and good friends don't mean harm. Asked who he thinks it was, Stickland asked how many musicians are there in Nashville. The big guitar won't come back to Sony/ATV. Instead, it will be displayed at the Gibson Guitar Company. Gibson is the lead sponsor of the outdoor art exhibit of 26 of the guitars around the Music City.
Source: Various / Updated: May 18, 2005