A BELOVED bronze statue stolen from a Billericay park almost three months ago was incredibly found in Brentwood on Friday.
The Child in the Park statue was stolen from Lake Meadows park on Valentines night, and up until last week most had given up hope of ever recovering it amid suspicions it had been melted down for money.
A fundraising page had even been set up asking for money to go towards a replacement statue for the empty plinth. The Friends of Lake Meadows group have since said that all money donated will go towards restoration work to be carried out by the sculptor, the foundry and other specialists.
Charles Novis, Chairman of the Friends, said: “I was really staggered when I received the call from Basildon Council telling us that the police had found it.
“We had nearly 1,000 people on social media saying how much it meant to them when it was stolen, so there’ll be a lot of pleased people out there.
“We did post literally on the morning it was stolen to all the legitimate scrap dealers in the country and anyone that could melt it down, so I guess it just became too hot to handle.”
Fellow Friend Alison Bacon said: “It’s not in too bad shape, but we’ve spoken to the original sculptor to talk about how we could reattach it in a way so that it couldn’t be stolen again.”
Police were initially called at around 1.45pm on Friday after the statue was found in a barrow at an address in the Ongar Road/Doddinghurst Road area of Brentwood. Basildon Council were called and collected it. Police confirmed that no one had been arrested.
It is hoped the statue will be back on display at Lake Meadows in July.