She stands 7 feet tall, wears only a skirt, weighs 1,700 pounds and is missing.
She is an unnamed, 200-year-old French statue that, until Christmas Day, stood with her twin at the entrance to Canal Square in Georgetown. On Christmas night she was stolen, according to a spokesman for the owner and a police report.
"We figure a group of strong, young people took her," said Peter Cooper, general manager of R B Associates Inc. The R B stands for Richard Bernstein, the owner of Canal Square, the Henley Park Hotel on Massachusetts Avenue and other expensive properties in town.
The day before the theft, the other statue was found unbolted from its base and lying on its side.
"They had knocked her over and tried to drag her away but failed," said Cooper. "So we put her back in place and rebolted her to the base. What we didn't do was solder the bolts. We have now done that for the remaining statue."
The purloined statue is an ample-bodied, bare-breasted woman wearing a skimpy skirt. Her arms are raised above her head and her hands are in the position to hold a nonexistent lamp. When last seen she was painted a glossy black.
Cooper said that the pair of 200-year-old, cast iron statues had originally adorned a French bridge. Their previous locations also include the top of the entrance gates to the Georgetown House, a fashionable apartment complex at 2121 P St. NW. That building was sold by Bernstein about eight months ago and the statues, insured for $20,000 each, were brought to Canal Square, Cooper said.
Since their arrival at the shopping mall and office complex, both statues have been vandalized, Cooper said.
"We have spent close to $3,000 repairing a broken arm on one and repainting each of them numerous times to cover scratches and graffiti," he said.
Cooper said he thinks that some of the students who frequent a bar in Canal Square committed the theft. He said 1,500 fliers, carrying a picture of the statue and offering a reward, have been distributed at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. But so far not a call has been received about the statue's possible whereabouts, he said.
"We are offering $2,000 for the return of the statue and less money for substantial leads," he said. "We'd love to prosecute whoever stole the statue all the way to China and back but we are most interested in just having the statue returned."
In the meantime a custom-made wood and metal trash can has replaced the missing statue. "We are just covering up the bolts with the trash can," said Cooper. "We don't want anyone taking the bolts."