Antique statue stolen from Caister church found

Bust of  William Crowe at Caister church. Picture by Evelyen Simak. Bust of William Crowe at Caister church. Picture by Evelyen Simak.

Friday, May 23, 2014
10:00 AM

An antique statue stolen from a Caister church has been found.

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Holy Trinity Church, Caister-on-Sea.Holy Trinity Church, Caister-on-Sea.

Rev Tim Thompson, rector at Holy Trinity Church in Caister, said the 17th century marble bust of William Crowe was toppled from its plinth during a daylight raid almost two weeks ago.

The theft had damaged the “historic identity” of the seaside community, he said.

But, thanks to church property being recorded, the bust has been recovered. It is currently in police custody while officers investigate possible prosecution in relation to the theft.

But Mr Thompson is hopeful that the life-size likeness of Crowe will return home within the next four or five weeks.

“I am very pleased that it will be returning to its rightful place,” said Mr Thompson. “We’re looking forward to bringing him home and putting him back on the shelf.”

The church is now in contact with specialists who will help value the statue.

Crowe was a London merchant who took ownership of nearby Caister Castle from the famous Paston family in settlement of a debt.

His bust had sat in the same spot inside Caister church for over 300 years. It is even mentioned in English Heritage’s listing description.

Commissioning such a memorial was probably an effort to gain social respectability for Mr Crowe and his descendants after he died in 1688, Mr Thompson said.

The theft was discovered by choir members arriving for practice on Tuesday last week

Nobody was Norfolk police was available to comment at the time of going to press.

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