Stansted: Men Admit Stealing Sculpture

13 November 2012, 06:07 | Updated: 13 November 2012, 06:11

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.