Bronze statue of Greek god stolen from estate

The statue of Greek deity Hermes
The statue of the Greek god Hermes was believed to have been taken from the stately home on Monday night [Northamptonshire Police]

A large bronze statue of a Greek god has been stolen from the garden of an Elizabethan stately home.

The sculpture of the deity Hermes, which has sat in a pond in the grounds of Holdenby House near Northampton for more than 100 years, is believed to have been taken between 23:00 BST on Monday and 08:30 on Tuesday.

Estate owner James Lowther said: "His theft is almost unbearable for us, and everyone at Holdenby - and we - are praying for his return."

It is believed thieves gained access via the A428 with a vehicle.

'Living in hope'

Mr Lowther said: "Mercury (the Roman name for the Greek god Hermes) has been such an important icon for Holdenby and something I have loved since I was a child.

"It is heart-breaking to see this much-loved piece of public art so crudely and cruelly cut from his pedestal.

"Those who stole him saw only a piece of metal that could be absconded with for private profit."

He added: "We live in hope that he will be returned home and urge anyone with information to come forward."

A spokesperson for the estate said the statue was "an important copy of the famous Seated Hermes, excavated from Herculaneum in 1758".

"His theft is a loss not only of an important historic work of art, but of a landmark feature much loved by the family, the community and Holdenby’s visitors."

A Northamptonshire Police spokesperson said: "Officers are now appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area during the stated times, or who has any information about the theft, to get in touch."

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