Metal thieves stole group of bronze statues weighing 5 tonnes in Bruges
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    Metal thieves stole group of bronze statues weighing 5 tonnes in Bruges

    The statues have not been found as the bronze was presumably melted down. Credit: 't Zand

    The police have serious indications that a Romanian gang stole the bronze statue group that stood at the fountain on ‘t Zand square in the centre of Bruges for many years.

    The gang is reportedly responsible for a whole series of metal thefts in our country.

    It is very likely that the Romanians stole the statues, which weigh a total of five tonnes, in Bruges in June 2018, according to the Federal Judicial Police of West Flanders. At the time, the statue group was standing in a wasteland area, and would be moved to the renovated King Albert I Park, reports VRT NWS.

    The Romanian gang committed dozens of metal thefts between May 2018 and March 2019. Four of them in the vicinity of the same wasteland area in Bruges.

    On 1 April 2019, three of the 31 gang members were caught in the act and arrested in Antwerp and Brussels by the Federal Judicial Police of West Flanders, reports De Standaard.

    Further investigation seems to show that the same gang is responsible for the theft of the bronze sculpture group ‘t Zand. The police suspect that, immediately after the theft, the Romanians took the statues to a scrapyard in the Netherlands.

    However, the statues have not been found as the bronze has presumably been melted down.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times