|Henry Moore, Working Model for Sundial, 1965.|
In July, two Henry Moore sculptures were stolen from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation in Hetfordshire, UK. The pieces, Working Model for a Sundial and Upright Motive Number 7, were recovered at the beginning of the month when Liam Hughes and Jason Parker sold the sculptures as scrap. Valued at US$930,000 (£575,000), the thieves received US$374 (£231) for the metal.
Parker and Hughes both plead guilty and were given one year in prison by the St. Albans Crown Court. During sentencing Judge Marie Catterson stated that their actions were “utterly selfish.” Parker and Hughes’ lawyer, Carlo Coccaro, said: “They decided to take the metal from that location because they had been told it was a target for theft. It was never the intention to take it for artistic value.” In fact, The Daily Mail reported that Parker and Hughes had no idea that the two pieces had market value.
The Moore Foundation estimates that the cost to repair the two sculptures will be US$20,000 (£13,000). According to the foundation’s lawyer, John Carmichael, the reputation of the Foundation is the real loss. New concerns have been raised by the international art world that the Moore Foundation has once again failed to protect the “priceless” sculptures currently in their care.