Melting in the sun

After a large sculpture was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire in 2005 security was tightened up. They have obviously enjoyed some success, if only because the works

301 Moved Permanently

now getting stolen are a little smaller. The latest to disappear is a bronze sundial from the Yorkshire sculptor’s garden. Melted down, the 1965 piece will net the marvellous, highly cultural folk who nicked it several pounds. After the theft of the first work it was discovered that the £3 million sculpture had been melted down into three grand’s worth of raw metal.

Despite the return last year of a Moore stolen in 2001, 301 Moved Permanently the chances of the sundial being found are negligible. It’s probably already on the shelves of souvenir shops in the form of London buses and Olympic fridge magnets. The theft of outdoor bronze plaques and sculpture is now an epidemic precisely because it is so easy and, doubtless, because the penalties for conviction a mere rap on the knuckles. There are no easy solutions to the problem. Meanwhile, we can have confidence in Hertfordshire’s finest Clouseaus who

are hot on the present case: “It could have been stolen to be melted down,” said the top man using both his brain cells. “We take our care of Henry Moore’s sculptures very seriously,” announced a sober director of the Foundation. Well then Mr Calvocoressi, instead of giving the Foundation’s money in grants to those who are already among the richest sculptors in the world you could try investing in a nightwatchman.

The Jackdaw, July 2012


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