Tolstoy bust stolen, Public Safety offers cash reward for information

Tolstoy bust stolen, Public Safety offers cash reward for information

UPDATED: March 8, 11:20 a.m.

The bust of Leo Tolstoy, previously located between the Battelle-Tompkins Building and the Kogod School of Business, went missing on March 1.

The upper portion of the pedestal, which is engraved with Tolstoy’s name, has been pushed off the lower pedestal and the side is now chipped.

“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity,” said Anton Fedyashin, the executive director of the Initiative for Russian Culture. “We have just witnessed a manifestation of the latter.”

The statue was stolen around 12:56 a.m. on March 1, according to Public Safety's Daily Crime Log. The vandalism was reported to Public Safety at 12:58 a.m. and the investigation is pending,

The upper portion has been removed by AU grounds workers.

The bust, which was revealed November 2012, was placed between the two buildings as a sign of AU’s commitment to furthering American-Russian relations, The Eagle previously reported. The bronze bust was made and donated by Russian sculptor Gregory Pototsky.

“What can you [say] about an absurd act of violence against the figure of an author who is known not only as one of our greatest novelists, but also as one of history’s great pacifists?” Peter Starr, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said.

The bust was also vandalized between Dec. 1 and 2, when an anarchy symbol was drawn on the statue, The Eagle previously reported. Grounds workers were able to remove the mark on Dec. 3.

The Department of Public Safety is offering a $500 reward for information that can identify the person or people who stole the bust.

Any individual who provides a tip to DPS will remain anonymous, according to the reward poster.

All information can be emailed to or called in to 202-885- 2527.

Staff writer Samantha Hogan contributed to this report.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle