HomeOutdoorsNews‘Art Thieves’ Target Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Steal Cultural Artifact

‘Art Thieves’ Target Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Steal Cultural Artifact

by Jon D. B.
Hawaii indigenous helmet
Cloak wore by princes and rank indicator. Feathers and vegetale fibre.18th century. Polynesia. Hawaiian Islands. Museum of the Americas. Madrid, Spain. (Photo by: Prisma/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) law enforcement officers are asking for the public’s help in identifying two suspects after heinous art theft.

At around 11:45 p.m. on Friday, January 13, someone stole precious artwork from the Volcano House hotel lobby. Displayed in a glass cate near the hotel’s front desk was a contemporary replica of a traditional feather helmet worn by high-ranking Hawaiian chiefs called a mahiole. “The striking crimson and yellow mahiole was crafted by renowned local artist Rick San Nicolas,” the park lauds. And now it is gone.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park law enforcement need public help in identifying two individuals suspected of stealing the Hawaiian cultural artwork as a result. Unfortunately, there is little to go on at present. What we do have, however, is this newly released image from the hotel’s video surveillance system. Within, a man can be seen carrying a large item in a reddish cloth. There was also a woman near the hotel’s front desk around the same time of the theft, Hawaii Volcanoes reports, which you can see in their latest tweet below alongside a photo of the helmet itself:

Anyone with information is asked to contact the National Park Service by calling or texting 888-653-0009. Tips can also be submitted online here or via email at [email protected]

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Eruptions Continue

Recently, the national park also hosted a new series of eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea volcano, drawing thousands of visitors to. Many are eager to see new erupting lava by day and the lava glow after dark. This latest Kilauea eruption was viewable from almost all open areas around the caldera.

The park remains open 24 hours a day, but Puʻupuaʻi Overlook and parking lot are closed to protect breeding and nesting nēnē at present. The overlook west of the Uēkahuna parking lot also remains closed to protect nēnē. The restrooms, parking lot and viewing areas to the east remain open, however.

If traveling to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the eruptions, please stay safe and follow all safety precautions:

  • Volcanic eruptions can be hazardous and change at any time. Stay on marked trails and overlooks, and avoid earth cracks and cliff edges. Do not enter closed areas.
  • Hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater and present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women. Check the park air alert web page before and during your visit.
  • Slow down and drive safely. Expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points like Uēkahuna and Devastation Trail parking area.
  • At 1,219 meters, (4,000 feet), the summit of Kīlauea can also be chilly at any time. Bring a rain jacket, wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight if visiting at night.