lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Cozumel was shocked, this week, when it emerged that a famous statue of the Virgin Mary had disappeared from the bottom of the sea at Chankanaab Park.

Authorities think thieves dived down and hacksawed it from its base around 10am on Tuesday, said local media reports.

The figure, which is made of bronze-plated tin, has been in Cozumel for some 50 years and is an attraction for divers and snorkelers to the natural park.


At about 28 inches (70cm) tall and estimated to weigh around 28lbs (13kg) it is an important symbol, especially for Catholics in Cozumel who sometimes use it to celebrate mass.

Authorities quickly started investigating the disappearance and the island's mayor, Aurelio Joaquín González, called for checks to be put in place at piers to prevent it leaving the island.

A local newspaper said searches were also being made at scrap metal businesses.

One local commented it could still turn out okay, like the robbery of the soccer World Cup in London in 1966.

Islanders will hope so; in that case a dog called Pickles found the stolen trophy a week later, safely wrapped in newspaper under a car.

Photo: SIPSE.