A heritage fountain has been stolen from Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens.
The Boy with Urn is more than a century old, is one metre tall and valued at more than $50,000. It was taken from the gardens overnight on Friday March 18.
Police are currently reviewing CCTV footage. The bronze statue’s removal can’t have been an easy feat, and it’s assumed it must have taken at least two people to carry to a vehicle. It’s also likely an angle grinder was used.
Councillor Arron Wood is chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio. He says, “The fountain has been in the gardens since around 1900. If it’s melted down for scrap metal or it is not recovered, we will find it very difficult to replace.”
Wood is hopeful that the thieves will develop a conscience once they become aware of the urn’s significance. “These acts aren't without genuine impact, and this damage to public property has to stop,” he adds.
This isn’t the first time a Melbourne statue has been kidnapped. In 1977 thieves took another heavy sculpture from Fitzroy Gardens, Boy on a Turtle. Two years later it was found abandoned in a Richmond car park and is now back in the gardens by the lake.
The City of Melbourne and Crime Stoppers are asking anyone with information to come forward.
You can reach the City of Melbourne at (03) 9658 9658 or on its website. Crime Stoppers is on 1800 333 000.