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16Oct

Still no Sign of Stolen Moore Sculpture

Last Sunday the papers reported of another theft of a valuable bronze from an open-air park setting. It regards the Standing Figure from the Glenkiln Sculpture Park, Dumfries and Galloway, South-West Scotland.

Henry Moore | Rijksmuseum
Henry Moore - Large Reclining Figure 1984 | Foto John Lewis Marshall

The work by the English artist Henry Moore (1898-1986) had been placed within its grand setting of the Scottish hills by the local landowner Sir William Keswick, who collected between 1951-1976. Scattered over the large estate were another five sculptures, including three by Henry Moore, one by Auguste Rodin and another by Jacob Epstein. The Guardian informs us that Sir William Keswick had once spoken of his sheep farm to the artist, and had said that “its large acreage was unsuitable for agricultural farming because the ground was too rocky”. Instead these large rocks formed beautiful platforms for the sculptures to stand on.

After the theft of the Standing Figure during the weekend, there has been no sign of it since, and the other sculptures have been removed from the park for security reasons.

Over the last fifteen years, there have been a number of thefts of Henry Moore sculptures, which are suspected to have been stolen for the scrap metal value of the bronze, which makes up only a fraction of its artistic value. In 2012 a sundial went missing from the Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham. It was found back after having been sold for a mere £46. Unfortunately, a piece that was taken from the same Foundation in 2005 has never been recovered, it was estimated to have a similar value to the current missing bronze of 3 million pounds.

Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/oct/13/henry-moore-bronze-sculpture-stolen-scotland

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-24522871