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13 November 2012, 06:07
Two men from Stansted have pleaded guilty to stealing a Henry Moore sculpture worth up to £500,000.
Liam Hughes, 22, and 19-year-old Jason Parker both pleaded guilty to stealing the sundial sculpture and the sculpture's bronze plinth at St Albans Crown Court.
The Sundial, created by Moore in 1965 as a working model for a larger sculpture, was taken from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, overnight between July 10 and 11
The distinctive bronze artwork was found after a televised appeal for information.
The Sundial is among a string of works by the abstract artist, who died in 1986 aged 88, to be targeted by thieves in recent years.
The Henry Moore Foundation carried out a security review following the theft of the two-ton Reclining Figure in December 2005.
In 2010, Moore's £45,000 painting Three Reclining Figures On Pedestals was one of three works of art worth a combined £230,000 stolen from a gallery in Broadway, Worcestershire.
Hughes and Parker, both of Coltsfield, Stansted, Essex, were bailed to reappear at Luton Crown Court on December 4 for sentencing.