Cheltenham's Neptune trident found with apology note

Neptune's statue before and after the trident was taken The statue was carved in 1893 and is thought to be modelled on Rome's Trevi Fountain

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A trident stolen from a statue in Cheltenham has been found in a garden, along with a note of apology.

The replica three-pronged spear was stolen from the Neptune statue twice on the same day, on 21 December.

It was found in a garden in Painswick, with a note saying: "We were drunk and there was no harm meant. We're sincerely sorry."

Cheltenham Borough Council said it would cost about £5,000 to repair the statue.

Neptune's Fountain, in the Promenade, was designed in 1893 by Joseph Hall, and is described by the council as one of the town's "iconic landmarks".

Garrie Dowling, senior property surveyor for the council, said he was "delighted" the trident had been found.

Theft proof

"Although the perpetrators have apologised in their note, unfortunately they do not seem to realise the considerable repair costs of around £5,000," he said.

"The top fork section of the trident has come away from the staff and also Neptune will need a new arm as it was badly damaged during the removal."

Mr Dowling said he was "hopeful" the repair would be finished in time for the "fountain switch-on in the spring".

"We will also look into how we fix the trident back to negate any future attempt to remove it unlawfully," he said.

The fountain was carved by local firm RL Boulton and Sons and is thought to have been styled on the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

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