Two men will appear in court today to be sentenced for stealing a Henry Moore sculpture worth up to £500,000.

Liam Hughes, 22, and 19-year-old Jason Parker pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court last month to stealing the Sundial sculpture and its bronze plinth - and selling it on for just £46.

The Sundial, 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.


The distinctive bronze artwork was found after a televised appeal for information.

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 Henry Moore 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.

Hughes and Parker, both of Coltsfield, Stansted, Essex, will appear at St Albans Crown Court this afternoon for sentencing.

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    Twenty years after painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo sparked hot dispute with his enormous fresco, The Last Judgment. It depicted nudity on the chapel's alter wall and the Catholic counter-reformation critics were horrified. They deemed the work unfit for a papal chapel and after Michelangelo's death the offending genitalia were covered up. PHOTO: Artfinder

  • Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)

    Géricault's monumental The Raft of the Medusa, depicted the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck in which the captain had left the crew and passengers to die. The painting ignited political controversy in Paris, fuelling widespread condemnation of corrupt authorities, but Géricault went on to become a pioneer of the Romantic movement - not bad for an artist who launched his career with a sinking ship. PHOTO: Artfinder

  • Édouard Manet (1832-1883)

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