Allanton artist in shock after theft of five metre lead sculpture

Charles Poulsen with a banner replacing the stolen ladder sculpture
Charles Poulsen with a banner replacing the stolen ladder sculpture

UNFORTUNATELY in the last year thefts of metal in rural areas like Berwickshire have become common place and now an artist in Allanton has seen one of his lead sculptures stolen by thieves.

Charles Poulsen has lived at and worked from Allanbank Studios for the past 20 years and prior to last week had never had anything stolen from the property but on waking up last Friday, April 20, he noticed that one of his sculptures was missing.

The 5.5 metre lead ladder had been on an outer wall of the steading for 12 years and although it attracted its fair share of attention from both locals and visitors to the village it had never been a target for criminals.

And speaking to ‘The Berwickshire News’, Charles, who has positioned a banner carrying the words ‘Art Theft Is Theft Of Community’ in place of the stolen ladder, said that having never noticed anyone acting suspiciously outside of the studio he was shocked the sculpture had been taken. “I’m sure whoever took it took it as scrap metal rather than as a piece of art. It was something people remembered when they saw it and when I went to a local scrap metal dealer to see if he’d had anyone approach him with it he said he knew exactly what sculpture I was talking about.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to help so I reported it to the police. They told me that metal thefts are quite frequent in the Borders and suggested that I shouldn’t have any sculptures outside in the future. It would upset me at having to go to those lengths but I wil have to be more conscious and also give thought to what materials I use. But I don’t want to be suspicious of everyone who looks at my sculptures as that’s what they’re there for.”

Although the ladder was the first sculpture Charles had stolen from Allanbank, his art has been targeted by thieves before, with a lead piece he produced for Killop museum in County Durham stolen last year.

Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for information about the sculpture theft and a spokesperson commented: “We have seen an increase in thefts over the past year due to the increasing worldwide value of metal.

“We are appealing for local people to be vigilant and to ensure that items are locked away. We would also ask that anyone seen acting suspiciously is reported to Police as soon as possible.”