A church in Memphis, Tennessee is appealing for the rest of its organ pipes to be returned, after a stolen truck containing some of them, was recovered by police.
Staff arrived at Calvary Episcopal Church last Sunday morning to find that a large moving truck, loaded with around 2,000 historic organ pipes, had been stolen overnight.
The pipes, which are original to the 1935 Aeolian-Skinner organ at Calvary, were due to undergo a restoration process, and were loaded onto the truck last week, ready to travel to an Organ Company in Boston.
Although the pipes themselves were not thought to be worth much on their own, the historic organ has great value, and had been in regular use for over 88 years at the church, which was founded in 1832 - less than sixty years after George Washington signed America's Declaration of Independence.
Calvary appealed to its 900 members to be on the lookout and to contact police or staff at the church with any information. Days later they received a call from the police saying officers had found the stolen truck - on a residential street 15 minutes drive from the church. Most of the historic organ pipes were discovered safe and sound inside the truck, but as many as 15 crates-full were still missing.
Calvary reports that the organ restorers had taken the exact measurements of all the pipes before loading them onto the truck, which means that replicas can be recreated if need be. The church says all of the recovered crates, along with the crates that have been packed since Sunday, are being taken several hours drive north to Boston, where they will be repaired and restored before being brought back to Calvary.