"Honesty" stared a thief right in the face, and the bandit made off with it anyway.
Perhaps he or she missed the point of John Ilg's sculpture.
The artwork, which features 316 rolled-up dollar bills placed in a wire-mesh frame to spell out H-O-N-E-S-T-Y, was jacked from Normandale Community College this week, according to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Only a set of muddy footprints and a trail of seven rolled-up George Washingtons remained in and near the Bloomington school's fine arts building. There are no suspects, the paper said.
The sculpture first went on display at the Minnesota State Fair in 2008 with $166. Visitors liked it so much, they added $150 to the piece, the Star Tribune reported.
It had hung unfettered at the school since November 9.
"People like to tug on the bills to see if they're glued in and if I'm really trusting them," Ilg, 53, of Woodbury, told the newspaper.
He said he can tell when someone has messed with the dollars because he rolls them so the words "In God We Trust" are visible.
The artist said the theft says a lot about the person who took it. He may re-create the piece, he said.
"All you can do is laugh."