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Milton Keynes concrete cows return to museum

Milton Keynes cows
Image caption The cows, created by the Canadian artist Liz Leyh in 1978, have become closely associated with the identity of Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes's famous concrete cows have moved back to their original home at the town's museum.

The cows were created by the Canadian artist Liz Leyh in 1978 with the help of local schoolchildren.

They were on display at a shopping centre for several years but have now returned to Milton Keynes Museum.

The cows were a leaving present from the Milton Keynes Development Corporation, which oversaw the building of the new town from the mid 1960s.

Over the years they have been subjected to several vandal attacks, stolen and beheaded.

They have been painted pink, had pyjamas painted on them, turned into skeletons and, during the mad cow disease crisis, had the letters "BSE" written on them.

Image caption Milton Keynes's concrete cows were transported by lorry to their permanent home in the town's museum

The original cows and replicas, currently grazing alongside Monks Way, Bancroft, have proved to be a tourist attraction over the years and have appeared at various locations around the town.

Milton Keynes Parks Trust arranged to move the originals in partnership with shopping centre owners INTU.

Ms Leyh was the artist in residence in Milton Keynes during its early years as a new town.

Current museum director Bill Griffiths: "Within the next few years, our new galleries will be telling the whole story of this area, from pre-history through to the present time and the cows are an important part of the story.

"It's fitting that they will be taking their place alongside other great iconic moments, monuments, stories, people and organisations."

Image caption The cows were a featured exhibit at the INTU shopping centre in Milton Keynes

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