Aspen nightclub owner offers $1,000 reward for stolen art |

Aspen nightclub owner offers $1,000 reward for stolen art

Joel Stonington
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen police say the theft was caught on security video, which showed that four men and one woman were involved in the crime. (Contributed composite)

ASPEN ” The owner of an Aspen nightclub is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a group of people who allegedly stole a $4,000 sculpture last month during a Winter X Games party.

“I’d still like to nail the bastards,” said Michael Goldberg, owner of Belly Up Aspen, which hosted the party. “It’s pretty blatant.”

Aspen police say the theft was caught on security video, which showed that four men and one woman were involved in the crime.

“In the videos of it, there was a discussion about how they would do it,” said Sgt. Bill Linn of the Aspen Police Department.

“There was a set-up involved where one group provided distraction while a couple of others walked the sculpture out. It was very slick. They did a very good job of cooperating.”

The sculpture was created by Scott Lenhardt, an artist who had collaborated with snowboarder Danny Davis on the design for one of Mountain Dew’s new “Green Label Art” created for a limited edition series of bottles.

The private party that took place Jan. 25, was put on by Mountain Dew to introduce the new bottle by Davis, who is a Dew-sponsored boarder, and Lenhardt, who has designed more than 45 boards for Burton. For the party, Mountain Dew hung paintings by Lenhardt and exhibited some of his sculptures.

“It was sculpted entirely of glass and had dinosaur figurines in it,” said Linn, adding the sculpture was so fragile that police do not believe it could have remained intact after the theft.

Goldberg said officials from Mountain Dew’s parent company, Pepsi, initially objected to publicity surrounding the theft and suggested that Goldberg should not go public.

“Pepsi didn’t want the publicity,” Goldberg said. “In retrospect I should have [gone public]. I had to pay for the thing. It was about four grand. But I reacted to what the customer wanted to do.”

He said the sculpture was not covered by insurance and he ended up paying the artist out-of-pocket.

“I provided security and charged for it,” said Goldberg, when asked why he didn’t pass the cost on to Pepsi. “I felt that was the right thing to do.”

During the rest of the X Games, Goldberg sent out face shots of the people involved to other bar owners and friends.

“I even went from bar to bar looking for this guy on several nights,” he said. “But it didn’t work.”

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