Barbara Livingston, recipient of the 2001 Eclipse Award for photography, had her statuette stolen at the award ceremony Feb. 18. The Eclipse Award dinner was held at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla.
According to Livingston, a member of the hotel's dining staff stopped the woman who was leaving the festivities with Livingston's award, but the woman told her, "Barbara is a friend of mine, and I'm taking it to her."
According to Livingston, an uninvited woman, wearing a red feather boa and with a tattoo on her right shoulder, was seated at her table, conversing with other diners. After Livingston accepted her award and returned to her seat, the woman asked to hold the statuette. Livingston obliged, then tucked the award between two seats, hidden from view. She got up to converse with others at the ceremony, returned to her seat, and the trophy was there. Upon returning to the table after a second round of conversations, the statutette was gone.
Livingston, after failing to get a response from security personnel at the hotel, contacted the Miami Beach police on Feb. 20. It wasn't until the afternoon of Feb. 22 that an official grand theft report was filed. Miami Beach police told Livingston a detective would be put on the case within four days.
A spokesperson for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which held the dinner and presented the awards, has assured Livingston that her statuette would be replaced if it was not recovered.
"We're pursuing some leads of our own," said Eric Wing of the NTRA. "Our ideal result would be for Barbara to get her original Eclipse Award back and for whomever took it to suffer the legal ramifications they deserve. It's just a shame. In a sport full of good people, Barbara is at the top of the list. It's unfortunate that this would happen to someone who has given so much back to the industry."