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SML'S 'LOVE' artwork stolen from creator's home

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FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSLS10) - The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce planned to unveil a new piece of art as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, but part of the art piece was stolen. The art was meant to compliment 'Virginia is for Lovers' campaign at the lake's 50th anniversary, but Roanoke City Police said a thief stole part of the piece right from the creator's driveway.

The sign was meant to spell out 'love' and show off some of the lake's best features. Roanoke City Police told us three of the sign's letters, which are each about five feet tall and weigh 40 pounds, were stolen from the artist's driveway sometime between 4:00 and 9:00 A.M.

The artist said he left the letters outside to dry after applying a top coat. He left for work and came back to find his art gone.

"Hopefully with the media and the coverage that it gets today, that whoever happens to be in control of this sign at this point will give it back to us in some way," said Annette Stamus, the communication manager at Smith Mountain lake Chamber of Commerce.

The artist added if the missing letters do not resurface in the next 24-hours, he will recreate his stolen work.