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Art Or Scrap

 

Updated : May 18, 2009

Police believe thieves stole a £3m Henry Moore sculpture - then melted it down and sold it for £1,500.

After more then three and a half years investigating one of the most audacious British art thefts, detectives believe it was almost certainly stolen by travellers and sold as scrap.

The bronze sculpture Reclining Figure was stolen from the 72-acre estate of the Henry Moore Foundation in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, in December 2005.

It took thieves 10 minutes using a crane-equipped flatbed Mercedes truck stolen from nearby Roydon to carry it away.

A global alert was issued but, apart from a sighting by another motorist at a road junction in Harlow, Essex the same evening it was never seen again.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Humphries, of Hertfordshire Police, said inquiries revealed the artwork was moved through a Dagenham scrap dealer and on to another Essex scrapyard.

It was then shipped abroad, possibly to Rotterdam, and then further east where it may have eventually help feed China's growing demand for electrical components.

He said it may have made just £1,500 as scrap metal even though The Henry Moore Foundation is believed to have offered £10,000 for its safe return.

"We have evidence and information suggesting it was cut up on the night, then taken to a location where it was irreparably damaged before it was shipped abroad," said DCI Humphries.

"In my mind we've managed to kill off the mystery as much as is possible."

VeryHappyPig reckons it’s a real case of one mans art is another mans scrap!

 

 

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