Filthy animals: Thieves steal Art Institute lion’s “COVID-19” mask

Oh, Chicago, you’ve done it again.

A worker installs a “COVID-19 mask” on one of the Art Institute lions Thursday. | CBS2 screenshot

Just hours after the city installed cute “COVID-19 masks” on three Windy City landmarks, a couple of our town’s ubiquitous thieves jumped into action, according to Chicago police.

Thursday morning, workers installed Chicago flag-style “masks” on the Daley Center’s Picasso sculpture and two lion statues that have guarded the Art Institute’s front doors for over 100 years, CBS2 reported.

By midnight, one of the lions’ masks had been swiped.

A security guard for the art museum saw two men climbed the statue, cut off its mask, and steal the face covering shortly before 11 p.m., police said. They then jumped into a black four-door Chevy sedan that fled southbound on Michigan Avenue.

Police did not release any further descriptions of the thieves.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is