Valuable sculpture moved after raid

12:01 16 February 2011

The sculpture in its original position outside the school.  Photo: Henry Moore Foundation

The sculpture in its original position outside the school. Photo: Henry Moore Foundation

The Henry Moore Foundation Archive

A Henry Moore sculpture that has stood outside a school for 60 years has been moved inside the building after thieves tried to steal it for scrap.

The life-size bronze sculpture of a family, which the artist made for Barclay School in Stevenage in the late 1940s, was installed indoors in December after thieves tried to make off with it in a van in May last year.

Headteacher Janet Beacom said no-one knew of the crime until officers stumbled across it on film.

“What happened, the police discovered that there had been an attempt to steal it from outside the school. They were reviewing some CCTV footage and discovered an attempt to steal it.

“There were some men with a van. The van drove up the outside.

“The thieves wanted it for its scrap metal value. I understand that scrap metal has a high value at the moment.”

The sculpture, which weighs around 500 kilos, was moved into storage after the attempted theft before being repositioned inside the building.

“We would like it to have been left in its original position,” Mrs Beacom said. “It was designed to be displayed outdoors. As far as we are concerned it’s a temporary relocation. We would need to work out specific security at a reasonable cost.”

The sculpture is not the first by the artist to be targeted, a two-tonne bronze reclining figure worth £3m was stolen from the courtyard of the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green, Herts in 2005.

Anita Feldman, head of collections and exhibitions at the foundation, said moving the Barclay School sculpture was regrettable but sensible.

“The school consulted us before moving Moore’s Family Group, and we support their decision, which is based on valid security concerns.

“It is not always possible to leave an outdoor work where an artist originally sited it, as circumstances change over time. The sculpture will still enjoy a close association with the school in its new location, and can be appreciated by its pupils, staff and visitors for years to come.”

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 18:30
The building was occupied by gypsies twice last year and has seen a lot of vandalism.

An office block which has lay empty for three years and has been a target for vandalism will now be turned into 150 flats.

Yesterday, 17:00
Janet Geech

A cancer survivor has spoken about what it is like to be diagnosed, as she prepares to attend a ball on Saturday to raise funds to fight the disease.

Yesterday, 14:09
The boy was stabbed in Ripon Road on Wednesday morning.

An eyewitness has spoken about the horrifying moment she saw a 16-year-old boy being repeatedly stabbed.

Yesterday, 13:07
Jack Wilshere shows his balls skills when playing for Whitehill Junior School Hitchin U9s

Hitchin’s very own Jack Wilshere has spoken to the Comet ahead of tomorrow’s showpiece domestic cup final.

”North

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Comet e-edition today E-edition