Police hunt thieves who stole three bronze statues

Police hunt thieves who stole three bronze statues of dancing women in rabbit masks weighing 300kilos and worth more than £140,000

  • Three statues of women wearing rabbit masks stolen from home in Tenderden 
  • Sculptures worth £144,000 were on display in driveway and two later found
  • One is still missing and a vehicle and front gate were damaged during incident 

Police are today hunting brazen thieves who stole three bronze statues of dancing women wearing rabbit masks worth more than £140,000 from a driveway in Kent.

The statues, by sculptress Sophie Ryder, vanished from a property near Tenterden at around 8.45pm on Sunday.

The three sculptures were on display in the victim’s driveway. They weigh up to 300 kilos and are said to be worth around £144,000.  

Two of the statues were later discovered in a nearby ditch, but one is still missing.

A vehicle and the front gate of the property were also damaged during the incident.

Police are today hunting brazen thieves who stole three bronze statues of dancing women wearing rabbit masks worth more than £140,000 from a driveway in Kent. Pictured: The statues

The statues, by sculptress Sophie Ryder, vanished from a property near Tenterden at around 8.45pm on Sunday

Sculptress Sophie Ryder: Who created the stolen statues?

Sculptress Sophie Ryder was born in London in 1963.

She studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in the 1980s, where she was encouraged by Sir Hugh Casson to develop her skills in sculpting.

According to her website, Ms Ryder’s world ‘is one of mystical creatures, animals and hybrid beings made from sawdust, wet plaster and old machine parts.’

She notably developed the Lady Hare as a counterpart to the Minotaur, which appears in Greek mythology. 

Her works have been exhibited in galleries and open spaces across the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and the US.  

Source: SophieRyder.com 

The three statues were created by Ms Ryder, 58, who is best known for her impressive sculptures of mythical creatures made out of bronze, resin and wire.

Her works have been exhibited in galleries and open spaces across the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and the US. 

Lady Hare, a woman with the head of a hare, is one of the artist’s most famous pieces, along with the Minotaur. 

A statue resembling the one stolen, called Dancing Ladies, was displayed outside Salisbury Cathedral in 2016. 

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who might have seen a Land Rover Discovery in the area at the time of the incident on January 3.

Kent Police said: ‘Three bronze statues have been stolen from a property near Tenterden.

‘It was reported that at around 8.45pm on Sunday the large statues weighing around 200 to 300 kilos were stolen from the grounds of a property in Wittersham.

‘Damage was also caused to the gate.

‘Patrols attended the area where two of the statues were recovered from a ditch near the victim’s property.

‘A vehicle was also reported damaged nearby.’

Ms Ryder’s works can sell for anywhere between a few thousand pounds and £150,000 depending on their size.

In 1994, her statue showing five minotaurs was banned from an exhibition at Winchester Cathedral because of the prominence of their genitalia.  

The three statues were created by Ms Ryder (pictured), 58, who is best known for her impressive sculptures of mythical creatures made out of bronze, resin and wire

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