But there’s something extra heartless about making off with Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
It happened 14 years ago in Carl Schurz Park, along the East River. There, a bronze Peter Pan has held court in the middle of a garden since 1975.
One morning in August 1998, however, Peter Pan vanished. “The statue was made by Charles Andrew Hafner in 1928 and showed the slender youth in his distinctive feathered cap and belted tunic sitting on a tree stump with a fawn, a rabbit and a toad at his feet,” wrote The New York Times.
“It had been cut off its stone base and weighed about a thousand pounds, officials said.”
Dozens of police officers investigated—this is the park that’s home to Gracie Mansion, after all. The next day, a scuba team found it at the bottom of the East River.
After divers recovered the statue, Peter Pan went back up in his usual spot in the park, where he’s been enchanting visitors ever since.
So who did it? Though no suspect was ever identified, “investigators said the disappearance of the beloved statue from Carl Schurz Park appeared, appropriately enough, to be the work of a band of overly high-spirited youths, perhaps latter-day Lost Boys who turned on their own icon,” a follow-up Times article stated.