Valuable Art Piece Stolen From Local Church

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A valuable religious art piece, taken from a local church. Police say a silver replica of "The Last Supper" was stolen from The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sparks last weekend...and now the congregation is asking for the community's help in getting it back.

The priest at the church says it was taken between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. last Sunday. He went out with some parishioners for a few hours and when he came back, it was gone.

Father Norman King described the piece as a deeply three-dimensional, solid silver replica of "The Last Supper. He says it hung on a wall in the church for three years. King says he and the rest of the congregation miss seeing the piece of art. It came from Madrid, and was donated by former parishioners.

"It's impossible to really put a value on it. It came from the early 60's from Spain where the Woskey's purchased it. It was all silver."

The piece of art had a deeper meaning to the congregation, because of its religious significance. King says he fears someone may have already sold it to a pawn shop or an on line auction...but he does not suspect a member of the church.

"My thoughts are it was taken by a young person maybe, a person probably needing drug money. Maybe for a quick sale."

The priest says he won't press charges against whoever stole the piece, he just wants it back where it belongs. His eyes teared up as he talked about the church's loss.

"It makes me also think of the elderly couple who gave it to us, a very frail elderly couple and their giving nature. I always associated the piece with them and their love."

While King showed us other valuable, and old pieces of religious art that still stand in the church, he made a vow to increase his sense of security. He says the house of worship has always remained unlocked for uninterrupted prayer...but after the theft, he's skeptical.

"Normally our church is open, but we are getting a new state of the art security system now."

The police valued the art piece at $25,000 but King says it had more sentimental value than anything. He says the police told him they'd check local pawn shops to see if they could locate the piece and return it to its rightful owner.

If you have any information about the church burglary, you can contact Secret Witness at 322-4900.