A bronze sculpture by British artist Barbara Hepworth insured for half a million pounds (600,000 euros) has been stolen from a London park by suspected robbers who want to resell the metal artwork.
The work, called 'Two forms (Divided circle)' and performed in 1969, was stolen Monday night in Dulwich Park in the district of Southwark, in South London.
The City Council area offered a reward of 1,000 pounds (1,200 euros) to citizens who provide information leading to the capture of the thieves, according to British media reports today.
The mayor of the local consistory, Peter John, asked London police to investigate the theft, which is believed to form part of a wave of thefts of metal artwork in the country that are melted and sold in the market black.
"The theft of public art and metal is becoming an epidemic," said John, who asked the police to investigate the "nauseating" theft.
London Metropolitan Police (MET) established this month a unit specifically dedicated to metal artwork theft, a lucrative activity increasingly widespread in the UK.
Hepworth sculpture (1903-1975), who was in London park since 1970, is one of several public works of the artist, who has one of his best known works, 'Winged Figure', on the outside wall of the warehouse John Lewis the center of the British capital.