There’s one art crime that you can get away with. Unfortunately, a few thieves have figured out that large bronze sculptures can be removed from their public places and sold for a substantial sum in scrap metal—though far less than the works would be worth as art. Since stolen art is too difficult to sell, the scrappers seem to have been gaining ground, especially in the UK
“Standing Figure”, a 2.21-metre (seven feet, three inches) tall work, is the latest work to go missing say police, despite its location, standing tall on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dumfriesshire countryside.
Police in Scotland said the theft took place between Thursday and Friday and they were “conducting enquiries” and appealing for information on any “suspicious activity” in the area.
Two men were jailed for a year in 2012 for stealing Moore’s “Working Model for Sundial” (1965), and the bronze plinth of another work, from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, north of London.
In 2005, the two-ton bronze “A Reclining Figure” (1969-1970) was stolen from the site. It was thought to be worth some US$4.8 million (3.5 million euros) but is believed to have been taken for its scrap metal value of a few thousand sterling.