Night raiders steal five tonne sculpture from Watts Gallery grounds

The copper and bronze sculpture Image copyright Watts Gallery
Image caption The sculpture, named Coracle, was on long-term loan to the Watts Gallery Trust from artist William Pye

A five tonne copper and bronze sculpture has been stolen in a night raid on the Watts Estate in Guildford, police have said.

The contemporary water feature by artist William Pye is said to be worth tens of thousands of pounds.

It was taken from the grounds of the Watts Gallery Estate, home to works by artist GF Watts, on Thursday.

Guildford detectives said the theft will have required planning and the use of specialist equipment.

Security review

Det Con Matt Denman said: "The theft of this unique water feature will have taken some pre-planning and several people with specialist equipment to remove the item from the site, therefore someone will know who is responsible for the theft.

"I urge them to share this information with us."

In a statement, The Watts Gallery Trust confirmed the break-in and added: "A limited area of the site was tampered with, and we are saddened to report that the only piece of outdoor sculpture, Coracle, which is on long-term loan to the Trust from William Pye, was removed. The artist has been notified.

"Watts Gallery Trust is currently working with Surrey Police, and has taken an urgent review of its security."

Image copyright Watts Gallery
Image caption Surrey Police is keen to speak to anyone who might be able to help with the investigation

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