Thieves apologize profusely and return stolen Indigenous artwork

Some people sober up and realize they've made a giant mistake.


Outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts towers a totem pole by Charles Joseph, a Canadian artist from the Kwakiutl First Nation. In the early hours of September 20, the left hand of this striking artwork was stolen, prompting both the museum and Joseph to issue a plea for its return. Fortunately, their appeals seem to have worked. According to Marian Scott of the Montreal Gazette, the thieves have returned the hand, also taking it upon themselves to leave a rather contrite apology note.

In a statement, the MMFA revealed that the stolen appendage was deposited on the museum's doorstop at some point on the night of October 1 and October 2. In the apology letter, the vandals explained that at the time of the crime, they were "not in a sober state of mind" and "had no idea what the totem pole was."

"After we realized what this stood for and represented for so many people, we immediately felt sick to our stomach," the note continued. "We would like to let all know that in NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM was this done in spite."