NEW YORK (AP) – “The Ides of March” – a heavyweight bronze sculpture that somehow lost some of its pieces – is whole again.

Three sections of the four-piece work by artist Philip Pavia, reported missing on March 23, turned up this week at a Bronx scrap yard. Police said Friday that they were trying to determine if they were stolen or taken by accident.

“I’m just very relieved that it’s back together,” said David Christman, director of the museum of Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., the sculpture’s future home.

The 94-year-old Pavia, a pioneer in modern abstract sculpture, “is very happy,” said his wife, Natalie Edgar. “To him, it’s a masterpiece.”

Commissioned in the early 1960s, the 3,000-pound work was displayed outside the New York Hilton on Sixth Avenue for more than two decades before being moved to the lobby of the Hippodrome building. It was in storage there when the three pieces disappeared, stunning its caretakers.

Because of the sculpture’s bulk, “I had no fear it would be taken,” Christman said.

Police said a man who claimed he had permission to remove scrap metal from the Hippodrome took the pieces and sold them to the scrap yard. When the operators of the yard learned through news reports that the pieces were “The Ides of March,” they called an attorney, who then contacted the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

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