Published November 13, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A statue on top of Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Illinois is missing its sword for the second time in over a hundred years after thieves apparently made off with part of the copper sculpture, the State Journal-Register reported.
An employee at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Ill., noticed last week that the copper sword held by a replica of a Civil War artillery officer was missing.
According to the report, the sword was broken off at the handle, with no damage done to the rest of the artillery officer statue or the other statues in the group of four -- representing the Civil War cavalry, infantry and navy -- atop the tomb.
The statue's original bronze sword was stolen in 1890, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency spokesman Dave Blanchette said.
He said the copper sword was likely stolen while the cemetery was closed, because "anyone who would have gone up would have been noticed by a worker" during the day.
The cemetery previously stationed an overnight security guard at the tomb, but the position was eliminated due to budget cuts.
Blanchette said cemetery officials plan to repair the statue.
The tomb is occasionally a target for vandalism, but thefts from the tomb are rare, he said.