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      Historic Virgin Mary statue stolen in Brownsville

      Sisters of the Incarnate Word Website Photo

      Brownsville police are investigating the theft of a 140-year-old blue and white statue of the Lady of Lourdes.

      The 2-foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary was reported stolen this week from a grotto, listed as a Texas historic landmark, where the Sisters of the Incarnate Word kept the artifact.

      Sister Evelyn Morales says a gardener noticed the $25,000 statue was gone.

      The historic marker indicates the brick and stone grotto was constructed about 1869-70 on the grounds of the convent and was opened to the public in 1926.

      It contains petrified wood from Roma and stones from European grottos and the grave of St. Theresa.

      The convent was demolished in 1969. The grotto was moved to its current site.

      Police did not immediately return a call Thursday to The Associated Press.

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