A rare early 18th century statue returned to an heritage site for the first time since the 1930s.
The lost statue of Diana, goddess of hunting, stood at Wrest Park near Silsoe from the 1730s until it was moved to Hertfordshire - and subsequently to Warwickshire - some 200 years later. Designed by leading 18th century sculptor Andrew Carpenter, it was recently discovered in a Warwickshire garden and its return secured by English Heritage, with assistance from the ArtFund.
Andrew Hann, senior properties historian for English Heritage said: “Northern industrialist John George Murray bought Wrest Park in 1917 but his fortunes waned and he sold up in 1939 and moved to a more modest estate in Hertfordshire, taking some statuary and garden ornaments with him.
I saw Diana two years ago standing in the garden of Murray’s descendants and because we have old photographic evidence, was able to identify her as the original from Wrest. When she came up for sale, I was determined to get her back.”
The statue of the goddess with a greyhound re-takes pride of place at its last known position at the head of Ladies Lake.