Missing: Fiberglass statue, 5-foot tall, last seen in front of Buffalo Wild Wings on State Street, answers to the name “pigskin.”

Sarah Royce
One of 12 painted footballs in Ann Arbor stands on the corner of East University and South University avenues. (AARON SWICK/Daily)

The giant football statue, worth about $2,300, was reported stolen on Monday morning.

The ball is one of a series of 12 around town called Pigskins on Parade, part of Ann Arbor’s Super City Celebration for Super Bowl XL.

Police said they have no suspects in the theft, but are encouraging anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of the football to contact the police’s tip line at 996-3199.

Police also have established two points where anyone can drop off the statue – no questions asked. The first drop point is the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, located at 120 W. Huron. The other drop point is the University’s Office of Greek Life, which Ann Arbor Police Department detectives said they contacted because of the possibility that a fraternity was involved in the theft.

The office agreed to contact people on its various e-mail lists and allow the statue to be dropped off at their office to be turned over to authorities.

The footballs are the property of the city of Ann Arbor, but detectives said they are more interested in recovering the statue than punishing the culprits.

“This is an all-out effort to have the pigskin returned to its proper location,” Avery said.

Ann Arbor was selected to be a “super city” by the Detroit Local Host Committee – the organization coordinating arrangements for Super Bowl XL, which is Feb. 5 in Detroit. Super cities are sites for increased hospitality and football specific activities during the bowl weekend.

Last fall, about 30 artists submitted proposals to decorate a large statue of a football.

After the proposals were submitted, 12 local organizations agreed to either sponsor a design or work with an artist of their choice to develop a design.

The footballs will be displayed until this July, when they will be auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s arts endowment.

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