CINCINNATI — The Capitoline Wolf statue, hacked off at the paws and stolen in June 2022, could soon stand tall in Eden Park once more, according to Cincinnati Parks.
A spokesperson with Cincinnati Parks said the statue’s replacement has been completed in Rome, Italy and is just awaiting shipping. It could be re-installed to its pedestal in Eden Park as early as this fall, when the parks plan to hold a public dedication.
The previous wolf mother who stood in Eden Park over small, bronze castings of Rome’s mythologized founders, Romulus and Remus, was hacked off her pedestal and stolen into the night in 2022 by unknown thieves. It was a replica of the Capitoline Wolf found in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
The she-wolf was a gift from the city of Rome and Benito Mussolini in 1931.
Despite a $50,000 reward offered for any information that could have led to the safe recovery of the stolen statue, no one came forward and the thieves remain unidentified.
In November 2022, Cincinnati Parks announced it would partner with the Order of the Sons & Daughters of Italy’s Cincinnati chapter to replace the Capitoline Wolf. The Sons & Daughters of Italy, an organization that’s been in Cincinnati for more than 100 years, helped to oversee the installation of the original statue back in 1931, a spokesperson with Cincinnati Parks said.
In November, Cincinnati Parks said after the Capitoline Wolf returns to her throne, extra security enhancements will be added to discourage future thefts of the bronze statue.
The statue was at the center of some controversy in 2020 when then-Cincinnati council member Chris Seelbach tweeted that he wanted the she-wolf and her mythological sons removed because the statue was gifted to Cincinnati by Mussolini. The statue was given before the U.S. became involved in World War II and was gifted to Cincinnati specifically because the city is named after Roman dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.
Seelbach later changed his mind, tweeting he would not introduce legislation to have the statue removed and it was ultimately left in its place until the theft discovered on Friday.
Earlier, in 2017, after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, an online petition was created to remove the Capitoline Wolf Statue, as well as a statue of Cincinnatus, found in Sawyer Point.