Asketh The City: ‘Where art thou, Shakespeare plaques?'

William Shakespeare may have called the moon an “errant thief,” but it was likely a more earthly thief who stole two bronze plaques from The City’s Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park.

Two of the garden’s six bronze plaques were stolen by an unknown suspect or suspects April 17 or 18, according to officers in the San Francisco Police Department’s Richmond District Station.

The plaques, donated before the bard-themed garden opened in 1928, feature different Shakespearean quotes describing different flora, according to historian and author Christopher Pollack. The garden is filled with flowers and plants that were named in the English playwright’s works.

Recreation and Park Department officials are working with the Police Department to investigate the theft, according to department spokeswoman Rose Dennis.

Golden Gate Park has been a frequent target for thieves, who have pilfered bronze pieces of the Ulysses S. Grant monument, purloined a bronze bucket from the Apple Press monument on the Music Concourse and snatched a plaque memorializing Domingo Ghirardelli in the 1970s, according to Pollack.

Other San Francisco parks have not been immune, either. A 160-pound bronze plaque memorializing the Armenian genocide, stolen from the peak of Mount Davidson in September, remains missing, according to Taraval Station Capt. Denis O’Leary. Burglary inspectors have declared the case inactive.

“The thief put a lot of effort into this — it’s a very large plaque, very heavy,” O’Leary said. “But the case remains unsolved.”

O’Leary said he believes whoever stole that plaque did so to sell it for the value of the bronze. Bronze is an alloy made of copper, whose value has risen to nearly $4 a pound.

It was nearly 30 years before the plaque memorializing Domingo Ghirardelli was hocked to a recycler about five years ago, according to Pollack.

“They can get melted down and disappear from history forever,” Pollack said.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company, Recology, has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

State to reserve 40 percent of COVID-19 vaccines for hard-hit areas

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation State officials said Thursday that… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

Most Read