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Artist starts work on stolen statues

TWO stolen bronze statues were sent back to the sculptor yesterday to be repaired after they were stolen from their outdoor location and later found abandoned in a river.

Wang Yao, the sculptor, said the restoration would take at least three months and he called on the local government to add surveillance cameras and anti-theft alarms to the city's landmark sculptures.

The statues, of a boy and girl going to school hand in hand, were sawn from their base last Monday, less than a week after they had been installed.

They were then found in a river last Wednesday. Police are still hunting the thieves.

The left arm of the statue of the girl had been sawn off and there was a deep cut on her right arm at the elbow.

Outdoor sculptures tempt thieves because of the value of the raw material and this was the first time a stolen sculpture by a Shanghai artist had been recovered.

"Media exposure and increasing public concern have intimidated these thieves and will further work to prevent the theft and recycling of artworks," Wang said.


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