Two Chihuly glass pieces heisted from Denver Botanic Gardens

(Photo: CPR/Corey H. Jones)
<p>Members of Team Chihuly from Washington help install a glass sculpture for the Denver Botanic Gardens 2014 exhibition.</p>
Photo: Chihuly CAR
Crews work to ensure Chihuly's glass sculptures make it to Denver Botanic Gardens without breaking.

The Denver Botanic Gardens confirms someone stole two pieces from the Rocky Mountain region’s first major outdoor exhibition of work by glass artist Dale Chihuly August 22.

Erin Bird, communications manager for the Gardens, says the two pieces were part of a larger installation. She calls the spikes of glass “cattails.” The pieces, red or yellow in color, were directly placed in the ground and not connected to the larger artwork.

Bird says the Chihuly Studio can provide replacement glass. But for “visitors who go right now (to the exhibit), it’s not evident that there are missing pieces,” Bird says.

The Gardens reported the incident to the Denver Police Department. But Bird says the glass spikes have not been recovered.

“After this incident we have increased security,” Bird says. “And we do not expect future incidents.”

The Chihuly exhibit has been hugely popular, Bird says. It opened in June and achieved record-breaking attendance in that first month, attracting more than 130,000 visitors.

It took more than three years to plan the exhibit which features thousands of individual pieces of glass. Colorado Public Radio reported that a team of 11 Chihuly Studio employees facilitated the 17-day installation.

14 works are spread throughout the 24-acre Denver Botanic Gardens, including “Summer Sun” which is made of nearly 2,000 pieces of glass. Two of the Chihuly installations are inside.

The exhibition runs through November 30.

CPR's Bob Lafley contributed to this story.