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Arts / Culture

Welcome Sign Returned To Key West, Stolen After Hurricane

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Wikimedia Commons
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The sign, like this monument designating the southernmost tip of the U.S., is one of many familiar Key West scenes.

All drivers entering Key West are again being greeted by a large painted sign welcoming them to "Paradise USA."

Unveiled Tuesday, the sign was stolen last fall after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys.

A Key West Police Department investigation led to the placard being recovered in Fort Myers Beach. No charges were pressed.

Key West's three Rotary clubs helped underwrite its restoration by a local sign company.

Featuring the image of a Key West sunset over water, the sign also bears a fluted pink-lined conch shell, a symbol of the Florida Keys, and the message, "Welcome to Key West, Paradise USA."

The original sign, valued at $8,000, was a gift to the city more than a decade ago from the Rotary Club of Key West.

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