(UPDATED) EXCLUSIVE: Oval Park Piano May Have Been Removed as Trash; Not Stolen

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[Update: Following is confirmation from a Parks Department spokesperson that the piano was discarded, not stolen: “Parks workers unknowingly discarded the piano which appeared to have been vandalized and was lying on its side. We were just alerted to this today and we send our apology to the community and sing for hope if any trouble was caused by this.”]

According to Deputy Inspector Joseph Dowling, commander of the 52nd Precinct, witnesses interviewed by detectives said that a sanitation truck removed the now-famous, presumed-stolen Sing for Hope piano from near the tennis courts on Williamsbridge Oval, thinking it was a discarded instrument. (A new piano was donated to the community Wed. night, and painted by children yesterday, with the help of the Friends of Williamsbridge Oval, Mosholu Preservation Corp., and community residents.)

We're still waiting for comment from the Parks Department press office, and Dowling said the accounts still needed to be confirmed.

An unfortunate bureaucratic snafu if true (we'll let you know as we find out more), but think of the multiple bright sides this Independence Weekend people: no heartless neighborhood thief stealing music from the children; an indefinite period of public piano playing since Sing for Hope was supposed to retrieve the original piano this weekend; and what better illustration of how awesome the Norwood community is?

Have a great, safe Fourth everyone!