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Thứ Ba, tháng 5 23, 2006

No. 0955 (Nhị Ðộ Mai dịch)

600-pound Buddha statue stolen from Stuart restaurant

Thieves made off with this 600-pound Buddha statue that sat in front of the Sakura Japanese restaurant in Stuart.

By GABRIEL MARGASAK
gabriel.margasak@scripps.com
May 23, 2006
STUART — Talk about thumbing your nose at karma.
Thieves who apparently were not conversant in eastern philosophy stole a 600-pound gold concrete Buddha statue Sunday night from Sakura Restaurant and Steak House of Japan in Stuart.

"I don't think it's luck if you stole the Buddha," steakhouse owner Ako Tarallo said.
The statue of the founder of Buddhism — one of whose central precepts is "do not take what is not yours to take" — had adorned the restaurant for the past six years.

The bald, pot-bellied smiling likeness was the centerpiece of a rock garden, sitting lotus-style atop a fountain with a gold pagoda on either side.

The 3-foot, 6-inch statue was purchased from a shop in Palm Beach County for $1,500 and would have certainly taken several people to lift — no matter their inner strength.

"It's definitely like a three-man work," Tarallo said. "It's very heavy. It's not that easy to move."

It wasn't the first time someone had desecrated the garden outside the restaurant in the 1600 block of South U.S. 1.

Several years ago, someone stole one of the pagodas. A replacement was found but the two pagodas don't quite match.

The Buddhist belief in karma holds that actions in this life determine the nature of existence in the next.

Aside from the religious aspect, the owners just want their Buddha back so nirvana can reign once again amid sushi rolls and hibachi-style grills.

"It's a part of Japanese culture and we need the luck," Tarallo said. That, and it's "nice to look at."

http://www1.tcpalm.com/tcp/local_news/article/
0,2545,TCP_16736_4718313,00.html