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Party By The Frost Bust!

By Harriet Staff


Woops! Uh… what we meant to say is: “Reverential One-Year Celebration By The Frost Bust!” The Wichita Eagle reports that Friday marks the one-year anniversary that a bust honoring the poet, Robert Frost, which was stolen from campus in 1987—was finally returned to campus—courtesy of the Wichita State University Police Force.

Mitchel Potter admits he stole a bronze bust of American poet Robert Frost from Wichita State University in 1987.

Back then, he was a 19-year-old fraternity pledge, he said, aided by alcohol and adolescence.

In retrospect, he said, he should have left the sculpture alone. If he had, there would have been no consequences and no 25-year-old crime.

“It’s a hard, hard lesson,” said Potter, 45. “It’s embarrassing to have something come back after years.”

But, he added, the bust “was meant to be a gift for you guys, and I shouldn’t have had that in my possession.”

Friday marks a year since the “Bust of Robert Frost” was returned to WSU’s Ulrich Museum of Art, 25 years after it was reported stolen by university staff members. Until last year, the bust was the only piece of artwork stolen in recent memory that was never replaced or returned to the university’s Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection.

Potter, a plumber and father of three, was arrested in August 2012 after a tip called in to the WSU police department led authorities to the bust at his Lamar, Mo., home. This summer, he contacted The Eagle to apologize to WSU and to explain what drove him to steal the bust more than a quarter-century ago.

“I just wanted to let the university and Wichita know that I am truly apologetic for my actions as a youth, and I just didn’t want people to think that I’d come up there and took it maliciously,” he said.

“That wasn’t my intention.”

Read the whole story at The Wichita Eagle.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, August 26th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.