The statue of Francisco de Miranda, which was stolen on Tuesday from the Chaguaramas Military and Aviation Museum, was recovered on Wednesday night along the road to Macqueripe Bay.But while the statue itself was recovered the base of the bust remains missing.The owners of the museum now estimate that repairs to the damaged statue will cost approximately $15,000.”I am so happy to get it back. It is nice to know we got it back.
“Apparently he (Miranda) is happy because he is smiling. My husband was really in a mess when the statue was stolen. Now he is so happy,” museum president Linda Kelshall said yesterday.On Tuesday museum staff were left in shock after they discovered the statue was missing. The thieves stole the bust some time over the long Easter weekend, it is believed, and left an empty beer bottle on the pedestal in its place.
General Francisco de Miranda was a war hero in the South American revolution. The bust of his image was donated to the museum by the Venezuelan embassy in 2006 in honour of the bicentennial of Miranda’s departure from Trinidad in 1806. Yesterday, Kelshall said around 6.45 pm on Tuesday she received an anonymous call from a private number. The caller informed her if she drove along the road to Macqueripe Bay she would find the statue in the grass.
Kelshall alerted her staff and they made the trip and discovered the bust under garbage bags in grass along the roadway.”It will cost us some money to get it repaired. We need to have it polished. The damage to the head of the statue will cost us $15,000 to get it back to the condition it originally was,” Kelshall said.The only part that was not recovered was the plate the bust was resting on. Kelshall estimated that the plate weighed a quarter tonne and she believes it was sold for scrap metal.
This was the second major theft at the museum. In August of 2013, thieves also broke into the museum and stole two historic weapons, a Japanese sword used in World War I in India and a SAR gun.Kelshall said yesterday the museum would be improving its security to ensure such an event did not occur again. She said the museum planned to put the bust back on display as soon as it was restored.