A £500,000 sculpture stolen from the former home of British artist Henry Moore has been recovered by detectives after a televised appeal for information.

The distinctive bronze artwork was found at an undisclosed location after an inquiry by Hertfordshire Police which led to the arrest of three men from Essex on suspicion of theft.

The work, created by Moore in 1965 as a working model for a larger sculpture, was taken from the grounds of The Henry Moore Foundation in Much Hadham, Herts, overnight between 10 and 11 July.

A senior officer appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch programme earlier this week to appeal for information about the theft of the 22in (56cm) sundial.

Following the programme, a member of the public called in with information about the sculpture, which was then recovered along with a bronze plinth which had also been taken from the Henry Moore Foundation on 15 July.

Three men, two aged 22 and one 19, all from Essex, have been arrested on suspicion of two counts of theft and are currently in police custody.

Lesley Wake, chief operating officer at the Henry Moore Foundation, said: "The Henry Moore Foundation is thrilled about the return of Working Model For Sundial. We are hugely grateful to BBC Crimewatch, the public and in particular the excellent work by

Hertfordshire Police in achieving its recovery.

"We hope that the successful outcome of this investigation will help to stimulate interest in Moore's Reclining Figure, which was taken from the Foundation in 2005.

"The reward of up to £100,000 is still available for information relating to the recovery of this sculpture."

The Sundial is among a string of works by the abstract artist, who died in 1986 aged 88, to be targeted by thieves in recent years.

The foundation carried out a security review following the theft of the two-ton Reclining Figure in December 2005.

In 2010, Moore's £45,000 painting, Three Reclining Figures On Pedestals, was one of three works of art worth a combined £230,000 stolen from a gallery in Broadway, Worcestershire.

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