Statue looted from London church in the Blitz returned

| July 10, 2011

A treasured 17th-century statue that was looted from one of London's last-surviving medieval churches during the Blitz has been returned to its rightful owners more than 70 years after it disappeared.

The work, a sculpted and painted likeness of Dr Peter Turner, an eminent 17th-century botanist and physician at London's St Bartholomew's hospital, was stolen from St Olave's church near the Tower of London on the night of 17 April 1941, when bombing severely damaged the church.

Last month, the 1614 statue was finally brought back home to the church, restored in the 1950s, ending a 14-month legal dispute, which exposed the art trade's failure to question the origin of works being sold on.

In 2009, churchwardens received a tip-off from the Museum of London that the statue was about to be sold by Dreweatts, a British auctioneer, on behalf of an anonymous seller for an estimated £70,000.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/jul/10/statue-looted-in-blitz

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Category: Church Security

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