Music News & Reviews

Banjo heist leaves Sir Walter Raleigh statue without an instrument

Willie T. Sorrell III, left, takes a photo of bluegrass band, None of the Above from Pinnacle, NC, in front of the Sir Raleigh Walter statue Thursday afternoon, Oct. 2, 2014. Someone nabbed the festive cutout of a banjo from around the statue's neck Wednesday evening.
Willie T. Sorrell III, left, takes a photo of bluegrass band, None of the Above from Pinnacle, NC, in front of the Sir Raleigh Walter statue Thursday afternoon, Oct. 2, 2014. Someone nabbed the festive cutout of a banjo from around the statue's neck Wednesday evening. jleonard@newsobserver.com

Someone stole Sir Walter Raleigh’s banjo Wednesday night.

City spokeswoman Jayne Kirkpatrick said the festive cutout of a banjo was nabbed from around the statue’s neck, and he wants it back. She says Sir Walter is “very upset” to be without the instrument in the midst of the World of Bluegrass festivities.

“I had just donned my banjo when some cad ripped me off – literally!” the statue said in a statement released by city officials. “I implore you cad; return my banjo so that the entire World of Bluegrass can enjoy it!”

The statue outside the Raleigh Convention Center is a popular site for photos, and the city spent $25,000 this year to build him a “Banjostand” art installation.

Slung over the dapper statue’s shoulder, the banjo is a holdover from last year’s festival. The image of the banjo-picking explorer has appeared on cardboard cutouts elsewhere at the event and even on T-shirts.

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