A rock valued at $17,500 because it was part of a Yoko Ono art installation has been stolen from display at a Toronto museum, police confirmed. The weather-worn stone carries the words “Love yourself,” inscribed by Ono, and was an element in her work entitled Yoko Ono: The Riverbed. While visitors to the Gardiner Museum had been encouraged to make contact with the art, they weren’t supposed to leave with any of it – although one woman did.

“It’s a totally interactive (exhibit),” police media officer Gary Long told the Toronto Star. “[T]here’s a bunch of rocks on the ground and people can walk up to them and pick them up. She just picked it up and walked away with it.”

“Yoko Ono is a forerunner of conceptual art who frequently involves collaboration, audience participation, and social activism in her artwork,” said the Gardiner Museum via their website. “Yoko Ono: The Riverbed invites visitors to collaborate with the artist, the museum, and each other, participating in the artwork through everyday action and contemplation. Yoko Ono: The Riverbed, in a sense, becomes a temporary village – a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world.

Stone Piece features a pile of river stones that have been honed and shaped by water over time. Ono has inscribed some of the stones with words, such as ‘dream,’ ‘wish,’ and ‘remember.’ Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the center of the room.”

The woman wanted by police is described as 55-60 years of age and about 5’4” in height, wearing a black coat with black pants, hat and shoes, and a red and black striped scarf.

Last year a number of personal items that once belonged to Ono’s late husband and Beatles icon John Lennon were returned to her after having been stolen.

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