TACOMA, Wash. (AP) It would have taken a forklift to move the 3,000-pound copper bell stolen recently from a Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Tacoma, Wash.
But the bell and its hand-carved wooden frame together 12 feet tall disappeared sometime between Jan. 18 and 24, said Thich Phuoc Toan, the abbot at the temple, who was attending a gathering in Florida.
The bell and frame were suspended from the heavy beams of an open-sided meditation pavilion.
Tacoma police investigated the theft and made a report, but Toan said he does not have much hope they will find it. Last month, a 500-pound statue was stolen from the temple grounds.
Toan said the bell was used only rarely, on special occasions.
When struck with a mallet, it produced a clear, sustained tone intended to call disciples to worship.
Toan said the value of the bell cast in Vietnam was impossible to calculate.
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