Statue by Victorian sculptor stolen from Cardiff park

Stolen statue 'Joyance' is among the works of Cardiff sculptor Sir William Goscombe John

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A statue by a renowned Victorian sculptor has been stolen from a park in his home city.

'Joyance', an 1899 statue of a boy by Sir William Goscombe John, was cut from the water fountain in Thompson's Park, Canton, Cardiff.

Sir William was one of the most prominent 19th Century sculptors and the theft comes in the 150th anniversary year of his birth.

Cardiff Council called it a "mindless crime". Police are investigating.

Executive member for sport, culture and leisure Councillor Nigel Howells said: "This is a mindless crime that has deprived visitors to Thompson's Park of a much loved feature.

"Security measures are in place at the park, with the gates locked every evening.

"This is an isolated incident and the matter has now been referred to South Wales Police".

2010 marks the 150th anniversary of Sir William Goscombe John's birth in Canton and a local pub is named in his honour, near where his street used to stand.

His statues and monuments can be seen in many places in the UK and abroad, including Westminster Abbey, St Paul's and Llandaff cathedrals.

Many remain in Cardiff, including the statues of Lord Ninian in the civic centre and 'The Elf' in St Fagans.

His father, John, was a woodcarver to the third Marquis of Bute and William assisted him with carvings at Cardiff Castle. Sir William, knighted in 1911, died in 1952, aged 92.

The statue, which is 4-5ft, was stolen in the early hours of Saturday, July 31.

A South Wales Police spokeswoman confirmed that officers were investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call Canton Police Station on 029 2022 2111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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