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News Archive > General > Museum statue stolen

Museum statue stolen

By Natasha Swift 19th April 2017

Museum statue stolen
GONE: One statue has been stolen and another vandalised

THE ICONIC clay worker statues which have stood outside Wheal Martyn museum for more than 12 years have been targeted by thieves over the Easter weekend.

Jim the Kettle Boy was ripped off his stand and stolen while the Bal Maiden was torn down and left damaged lying on the ground sometime overnight on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Director at Wheal Martyn, Colin Vallance, said dealing with such mindless and unnecessary behaviour was a waste of charitable resources but vowed that the statues would stand proud once again before long.

He said the figures represented an important part of the area’s local heritage and described the incident as disappointing.

Mr Vallance added: “We are very proud of our clay worker statues which symbolise the thousands of people who worked so hard in Cornwall’s china clay industry.

“They are loved by our local community and visitors alike and it’s a sad day when someone sees fit to steel something which represents such an important part of our local heritage.

“As you can imagine the team and volunteers at Wheal Martyn, who all work very hard to safeguard and bring alive our heritage, are very disappointed by the incident.”

The statues, which are unique to Wheal Martyn, are dressed with real clay workers clothing, dipped in resin.

Despite having no economic value to anyone, they are enjoyed by visitors to Wheal Martyn, with many having their photographs taken with them.

St Austell police inspector, Ed Gard, said he was unsure what anyone would gain from stealing the 4ft 11 statue and urged anyone with information about the incident to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number CR/028510/17.

By Natasha Swift 19th April 2017

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