Stearns History Museum staff are grateful that a statue of baby Jesus that went missing before Christmas last year has been returned.
The statue is part of the Nativity set that is owned by the museum and on display outside the U.S. Bank building in downtown St. Cloud.
“The bank reported that sometime around noon on the 26th, an unidentified individual placed something in the manger,” said Carie Essig, executive director of the museum. “Upon checking, bank staff discovered that baby Jesus had been returned.”
Although the antique statue has a broken arm and a few missing toes, the damage is minimal and likely can be repaired. The museum will do a full condition assessment after the holidays.
For now, they’re just happy to have it back. “I’m standing by our commitment last year that we wanted it returned, no questions asked,” Essig said.
The Nativity set dates back to 1944 and was donated to the museum in 1978, according to the museum. It has been displayed every year since 1988, first by the City of St. Cloud, then Zapp Bank and now U.S. Bank.
The set will be up through the first week in January as usual, Essig said.