An article published in the magazine’s July edition caught the attention of an antiques dealer in Arizona who bought the panel from a woman for $500 years earlier.
Floyd Lillard in Bisbee, Arizona, recognized the sculpture in question, contacted the library and gave it back.
City Librarian John Szabo says the discovery has given him hope that the other two panels might turn up one day.
“Up until now, we thought (the sculpture) might have been destroyed or was in someone’s backyard,” he said. “We just didn’t know if it would ever be found.”
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