Henry Moore sculpture stolen in Britain

July 13, 2012 at 7:31 AM

MUCH HADHAM, England, July 13 (UPI) -- British police said a $772,000 sculpture by Henry Moore stolen from the late sculptor's home may have been melted down and sold for its base metal value.

The sculpture, "Sundial," disappeared from the grounds of the home -- now the site of The Henry Moore Foundation in Much Hadham, England -- between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Alice Farren-Bradley of the Art Loss Register said more people are registering sculptures kept on display outdoors -- like "Sundial" -- as metal thefts increase.

" 'Sundial' is of such importance to the estate and the general public as a whole, as a piece by a celebrated artist which sadly cannot be recreated," she said. "It would be worth so much more as a piece of art than its base metal value."

Another Moore work, "Reclining Figure," worth $4.6 million, was stolen in 2005. Police later determined the 12-foot high sculpture had been melted down and sold for as little as $2,300, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Moore died in 1986 at the age of 88.

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