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Stolen Milles statue found in woods

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11:58 CEST+02:00
A bronze statue by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, which was stolen from outside Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska University Hospital five years ago, has been found in the woods outside nearby Kungsbacka.

The statue, valued at 750,000 kronor ($99,550), was found on April 28th, according to police.

"Two individuals found the statue, standing upright in the forest," said Kungsbacka police inspector Ingemar Hilmersson.

The 88-centimetre statue, titled "Genius," depicts a lyre-playing angel, the report said. The stolen sculpture is now in the possession of the police.

The piece of art was donated by a private individual to Sahlgrenska Hospital in 1959. Until the fall of 2005, it stood at Sahlgrenska's main entrance.

The statue was sculpted between 1932 and 1940 as a tribute to playwright August Strindberg. Since 2005, police in Västra Götaland county have unsuccessfully attempted to find the sculpture, the Norra Halland newspaper reported.

"It was during a major renovation of the main entrance in the fall of 2005 when the sculpture disappeared," Tibor Szabor, head investigator of the Gothenburg city police team, told Norra Halland. "They discovered that it was gone in October, but they were not sure if it was stolen or if someone removed it. Only in December did they file a report."

Fears that the sculpture would have melted down can now be dismissed, the report said.

"However, we have no suspects for the theft, nor do we suspect the few local residents," Bo Månsson of the Kungsbacka police told Norra Halland.

Kungsbacka police did not disclose how it found the sculpture.

As recently as last winter, another stolen Milles sculpture was found in connection with the discovery of the stolen "Arbeit macht frei" sign at the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the report said.

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