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Duck Statues Stolen From Moscow Park
MOSCOW (AP) FEBRUARY 12, 2000 — Strollers in a Moscow park found the statues of a mother mallard and her babies to be charming, but to thieves they were just sitting ducks.

The bronze statues of the mother and two of the seven ducklings trailing single-file behind her have been sawed off at the legs and spirited away from Novodevichy Park. The theft occurred on Feb. 6, the Moscow Times newspaper cited police spokesman Vladimir Zubkov as saying.

The statues are replicas of statues in the Boston Public Garden and portray the characters from "Make Way for Ducklings,'' a children's book popular for generations in the United States.

The book tells of the travails of a mallard family looking for a new home in the midst of a noisy city. The Moscow park, adjacent to the Novodevichy convent and cemetery that are among the capital's top tourist destinations, is an area of calm amid the central city's clamor.

The Moscow statues were presented in 1991 by Barbara Bush, the wife of then-President George Bush.

Zubkov, the police spokesman, said he was "heartbroken'' and officers are investigating the theft, the newspaper reported Friday.

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