Artist asks people to stop stealing his quirky front garden ‘thingasaur’ sculptures
- Credit: Steve Adams
It is a quirky front garden art gallery that has become a minor tourist attraction - but now its creator has appealed to people to stop stealing his 'thingasaurs' when returning home from a night on the town.
The sculptures on Unthank Road in Norwich, near the Eaton Cottage pub, started life in 2013 when bird book illustrator Clive Byers took his girlfriend's son hunting for wood to sculpt, in an attempt to prise him off his X-Box.
The bits of tree picked up from a failed development site develop a character of their own when decorated with sunglasses or jewellery, and Mr Byers has named one Blingosaurus because of her necklaces, and another Dodosaurus because of its distinctive beak.
But the works of art have proved a tempting target for students passing by at night, and Mr Byers has suffered a string of thefts, either of thingasaurs themselves, or their jewellery, and has erected a sign offering a £100 reward for the return of stolen items.
He said: 'There are so many people on Unthank Road that really love it, and some of them knock on the door and ask 'do you mind if I take photos, and can you be in it?'
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'They attract so much attention that if it's not here, people knock on the door and ask if it's been nicked. For families and kids, it's quite an event to come. They just love it.
'That's what annoys me about people who steal it. They obviously don't realise it's very personal.'
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Fans include a group of Chinese tourists last summer, a local estate agent who photographed them for its brochure, and a police officer who stopped Mr Byers when he had Bling on the roof of his car - and asked if he could buy it.
Recently, Dodosaurus disappeared for three months, and was only returned after council workers recognised it in a skip, and Bling was burned when Mr Byer's car caught fire after its battery exploded at Christmas.
He said he had considered erecting a fence to protect his art works, but did not want them to be hidden, and he had rejected friends' suggestions to electrify the sculptures.
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