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Piece Of Los Angeles Central Library Sculpture That Went Missing In 1969 Found In Bisbee, Arizona

This story is part mystery, part recovery — and very unexpected. At the center of it is a missing sculpture, a Bisbee antique seller and the Los Angeles Central Library.

The sculpture in question is a bronze panel called the “Well of the Scribes.” Fifty years ago it looked over the west lawn of the downtown library in LA, stately surveying the reflecting pools and gardens.

Then, in 1969 when the gardens were demolished to make way for a parking lot, it disappeared without a trace. Experts say the panel sculpture probably weighed more than 3,000 pounds.

There were concerns that the sculpture might have been melted down or destroyed. And many people forgot about it until the author Susan Orlean wrote about it in her 2018 bestseller “The Library Book.”

Antique shop owner, Floyd Lillard read the book and realized Orlean’s description of the “Well of the Scribes” sounded very familiar. Turns out, a piece of the sculpture was in his shop. He contacted the Los Angeles library and they sent experts to go check it out.

It was indeed part of the missing sculpture. How the whole sculpture disappeared is still a mystery — but at least one piece gets to return home.

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Kaely Monahan joined KJZZ Original Productions as a producer in December 2016.Monahan is a native, and growing up in the East Valley gave her an intimate familiarity with the Valley of the Sun. Eager to experience a new city, she left Phoenix for Tucson to earn her degree in classical studies from the University of Arizona with an emphasis in mythology. Several years later, her focus transitioned from history to history-in-the-making and news. Monahan went on to earn her master’s degree in international journalism from City University of London.In London, Monahan worked with CBS News and The Times covering international news. On her return to Arizona, Monahan was the art and entertainment editor for the East Valley Tribune, before moving into broadcasting, where she worked in commercial radio as an anchor and reporter.Outside of work, Monahan spends her time reading historical novels, exploring new restaurants in the Valley, and watching movies. Her love of film led her to create a movie review podcast and website. Monahan is also the vice president of the Phoenix Critics Circle.