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Owners of a stunning bronze peacock statue worth £45,000 and crafted by a world renowned artist are worried it will be melted down for scrap after it was stolen.
Thieves took the 6ft statue, made by highly regarded sculptor, Geoffrey Dashwood, from the back garden of a couple's cottage without leaving a trace.
Masterpiece - Months - Mr - Dashwood - Friends
The 25st masterpiece, one of 12, took months to create before Mr Dashwood gave it to lifelong friends to display at their country home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, eight years ago.
Mr Dashwood said the thieves would most likely have had to use an angle grinder to cut the artwork into pieces before selling it for just a few hundred pounds.
Statue - Garden - Lorry - Place - Crane
The statue was originally delivered to the garden by a lorry and then lowered into place by a crane because it weighed so much.
Mr Dashwood said today: 'They will most likely cut it up for scrap metal - the thieves probably have no idea what they have stolen.
Metal - Theft - Something - Nature - People
'I think it is a scrap metal theft as it is extremely difficult to sell something of this nature unless you know the right people.
'Even then they would have a job selling it because it's too unique to sell it to just anybody, unless this was a targeted heist by a collector. It's extremely heavy and would take at least three men to carry...
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