If you happen to have seen a 2-metre high, 25-stone bronze peacock recently, police in southern England want to hear from you. Such a work by sculptor Geoffrey Dashwood mysteriously disappeared recently from the garden of a Hampshire couple, the latest target, evidently, of a long-running, international, bronze sculpture crime wave.
Last month, a bronze pig was heisted from Oak Creek Park in Temple, Texas. And in July, a bronze Aboriginal boy by sculptor Greg James was snatched from Mosman Park in Perth, Australia. In June, a bronze Humpty Dumpty went missing from the San Diego County Fair. And in May, Journeys of the Imagination, a bronze sculpture of a boy riding a paper airplane, was lifted from Clunie Community Centre in East Sacramento, California.
Bronze art theft is nothing new. Two Forms (Divided Circle)
, a monumental bronze by Barbara Hepworth, is still missing after vanishing from Dulwich Park in South London in 2011. As with all these others, including the missing peacock, it was likely melted for scrap. Such a feat may hardly seem worth it with bronze trading at only £1.21 per 16 ounces. But metal thieves are not economists. Recall back in 2005 when a £3m Henry Moore bronze figure was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation Estate in Hertfordshire and melted down for £1,500.
Image caption: Two Forms (Divided Circle) by Barbara Hepworth in Dulwich Park, London, in September 2011. The sculpture was stolen in December of that year.
By Ben Sutherland from Crystal Palace, London, UK [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons