Jeff Koons statues, vibrators snatched from Venice Biennale

A larger version of Jeff Koons' "balloon dog" on display in Venice. Photo from

VENICE - Thieves robbed the Venetian Beinnale museum of two small Jeff Koons sculptures Sunday night. Investigators are baffled by the crime which only saw 35,000 euros worth of property taken, referring to it as “very strange.” Christian Constanti, Chief of the Cultural Heritage Protection group, has concluded that the theft was not one of commission “because the value of the works is too small,” and that another motive must be behind the raid.

 The robbery took place at the Palazzo Mora, the heart of the European Cultural Centre and host to the modern art exhibition “Personal Structures.”

 Two sculptures of Jeff Koons’ “balloon dog” were taken, along with a sculpture by Karole Fuereman, and three vibrators from Nina Dotti’s sex-themed installation.

These pieces formed part of the Biennale Art exhibition in Venice, currently in its 57th year, with contributing work from 120 artists in 51 countries. Whilst Jeff Koon' original "balloon dog" sold for 58.4 million in New York in 2013, these small replications of the famous work will not fetch such a high sum if sold after the robbery. 

 On top of the odd choice of stolen material, the thieves also hijacked the computer hardware of the building, rather than taking the precious items on display in the museum. Constanti has remarked that “it is an abnormal threat we are working on.” Whilst there has been no evidence found that points to burglary, the museum employs a huge range of staff. Thus, Constanti has concluded that “whoever did [it], did not do it by himself, and whoever stole it knew where to steal.”