Rio police investigate looting at Maracana Stadium
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Police are investigating the theft of several items from the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Rio police said two bronze busts, two television sets and a piece of copper hose were stolen. One of the statues is of journalist Mario Filho, the man the stadium is officially named after.
The Maracana, which hosted the 2014 World Cup final and the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics in August, has not been used since a soccer friendly in late December.
The Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo, given access to the stadium, showed photos of seats ripped out, brown grass left unwatered in Rio's sweltering summer, and paint peeling off interior walls.
Stadium administrator Odebrecht wants to give the stadium back to Rio state authorities. Both Odebrecht and the Rio state government have been troubled by corruption scandals and a financial crisis.
Rio de Janeiro soccer federation officials are to meet next week with Rio's clubs. They are likely to want the state government to intervene, which is unlikely because the state has declared a ''financial calamity'' and is months behind paying teachers and other public employees.
The stadium was remodeled for the 2014 World Cup, the start of costly spending programs to host the soccer tournament, and last year's Rio Olympics.