Sundial 1965 was stolen last week from the Henry Moore Foundation. Picture: Jonty Wilde, courtesy The Henry Moore Foundation archive

£500,000 sculpture stolen from Henry Moore Foundation

Geraldine Kendall, 18.07.2012
Military museum in Eastbourne also hit by thieves
A £500,000 Henry Moore sculpture entitled Sundial 1965 has been stolen from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green, Hertfordshire.

The bronze sundial, which was created as a working model for a larger sculpture, measures 56cm high and was stolen last week at some time between 4.30pm on 10 July and 11am on 11 July.

It is not known whether the thieves are aware of the artwork’s value or if was targeted to be sold as scrap metal.

Richard Calvocoressi, director of the Henry Moore Foundation, said staff were “deeply saddened” by the loss of the piece.

He added: “We take our care of Henry Moore's sculptures extremely seriously and have installed heightened security measures here in recent years. We would be grateful if anyone with information would contact the police.”

Meanwhile, the Redoubt Fortress and Military Museum in Eastbourne has appealed to the museum and heritage community for help tracking down war artefacts valued at around £16,000, which were stolen during a night-time raid on the museum on 3 July.

Among the artefacts taken were a brass bugle with Russian double-headed eagle, a silver cigarette box and several medals, including an Iraq medal and a Queen Elizabeth Cross.

A full list of the objects can be
downloaded here (xsl). Anyone who is approached with the items, or has any other information, is asked to contact Nigel Harvey at the museum on 01323 410300.

Rhino horn thefts


A 19-year-old man was jailed last week for his part in an attempted smash-and-grab raid on a £240,000 rhino horn at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery in February that was foiled by staff.

A second man was arrested and bailed over the weekend in connection with the incident and two other men are still being sought.

Figures from the criminal intelligence agency Europol show that thieves are continuing to target rhino horn across Europe, despite many museums removing it from public display.

There have been 57 thefts and 12 attempted thefts of rhino horn in 15 European nations since the start of 2011.

In the most recent UK cases, two valueless warthog tusks were stolen in April from Burnby Hall Museum in Pocklington after thieves realised a rhino horn they intended to target had been removed from display.

In June, intruders wrenched rhino horns from a taxidermy display at the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent, not realising that they were plastic replicas.

Many of the thefts are believed to be the work of an organised crime gang based in the Irish Republic.

According to Europol, rhino horn can be as valuable or more valuable than gold and cocaine on the black market because of its perceived health benefits in Asia.

Update
23.07.2012

Herefordshire Police have charged two men with the theft of the Henry Moore sculpture Sundial 1965. The men are bailed to appear before magistrates in Stevenage on 3 August. The sculpture has been recovered to the Henry Moore Foundation.

Comments