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Long-lost sculpture has returned to Los Angeles library

A detail of a bronze sculpture titled "Well of the Scribes," is seen during an unveiling of the long-lost sculpture after been discovered in Arizona, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 at the Central Library in Los Angeles. The sculpture depicting writers from different cultures vanished in 1969 when the library underwent a renovation. The story of its disappearance was revived in last year’s bestselling novel “The Library Book,” which inspired a magazine editor to investigate its whereabouts.
A detail of a bronze sculpture titled "Well of the Scribes," is seen during an unveiling of the long-lost sculpture after been discovered in Arizona, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 at the Central Library in Los Angeles. The sculpture depicting writers from different cultures vanished in 1969 when the library underwent a renovation. The story of its disappearance was revived in last year’s bestselling novel “The Library Book,” which inspired a magazine editor to investigate its whereabouts. Dania Maxwell

A bronze sculpture that mysteriously disappeared from the Los Angeles Central Library 50 years ago has returned to its original home.

One of three panels of the Well of Scribes was unveiled at the downtown library Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported .

The sculpture depicting writers from different cultures vanished in 1969 when the library underwent a renovation. The story of its disappearance was revived in Susan Orlean's 2018 novel "The Library Book," which inspired Alta magazine's managing editor to investigate its whereabouts.

An article published in the magazine's July edition caught the attention of an antiques dealer in Arizona who bought the panel from a woman for $500 years earlier.

Floyd Lillard in Bisbee, Arizona, recognized the sculpture in question, contacted the library and gave it back.

City Librarian John Szabo says the discovery has given him hope that the other two panels might turn up one day.

"Up until now, we thought (the sculpture) might have been destroyed or was in someone's backyard," he said. "We just didn't know if it would ever be found."

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