Public's help sought to locate missing First Nations' artifacts 0
This painting of a First Nations Madonna and a child by artist Wilma Lloyd-Davies was one of several artifacts stolen from the Saint Mary's and Saint Paul's Anglican Church in Lytton, B.C. (photo submitted)
Mounties in Lytton, B.C. are asking the public's help to recover multiple antique religious artifacts taken from a historic First Nations' church over two weeks in April.
Members at Saint Mary's and Saint Paul's Anglican Church was unoccupied between April 10 and 24. When cleaners came in to prepare for a band elder's upcoming funeral, they discovered the artifacts missing.
"Among the valuables taken were an organ given to the mission by the Governor-General Marquis de Lorne in 1877, a painting of a First Nations Madonna and Child by Wilma Lloyd-Davies and a painting by E.W.W. Pugh from the nineteenth century," Lytton First Nations' Chief Janet Webster said in a statement.
"The church has stood for over 140 years without a theft. To take these treasures has really broken the hearts of many Elders in the community."
RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said thieves would likely try to sell the items on websites like Kijiji or Craigslist, at flea markets or antique shops, and asks the public to be wary.
"They're very unique, they're quite identifiable, and there's a spiritual and community value to these items," he said.
"Their rightful place of stewardship is at the church."
Police have released images of the artifacts, and ask anyone in the public who recognizes them to call 250-455-2225. Visit bc.rcmp.ca for more pictures.