Bronze plates stolen in Ebbw Vale
6:02am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
The art project has a series of bronze inlay panels fitted to the risers of the steps connecting Bethcar Street to Eureka Place. (1357980)
LARGE bronze plates worth thousands of pounds which form part of an art project have been stolen from the steps of a Valleys street.
Not only were 15 plates taken from Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, but damage was also caused to the steps which lead to Eureka Place for the second time in two years.
The plates, measuring six feet by six inches, were taken overnight from Wednesday, October 2, to Thursday, October 3.
The steps at Bethcar Street form part of the Gunnels and Alleyways public art project, installed in 2008, which include a series of bronze inlay panels fitted to the risers of the steps connecting Bethcar Street to Eureka Place.
As a result of the first attack by vandals in 2011, both sets of steps along with the war memorial and other pieces of artworks in Ebbw Vale were treated with SmartWater and "detection torches" were supplied to the local policing team.
Each bronze panel has a decorative design on the front and the 15 panels are worth about £10,000.
In a statement a spokeswoman for Blaenau Gwent council said: "It is very unlikely in the current economic climate that the bronze can be replaced, however the use of alternative materials will be investigated should finance become available.
"The damaged steps have been made safe and have now been reopened to the public."
Last month Blaenau Gwent councillors met to discuss the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which means any trader not owning a licence, failing to keep the correct paperwork, or not recording the identities and bank accounts of customers selling goods could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5,000.
Councillor Keith Hayden, executive member for waste management and the environment, welcomed the new legal requirements to clamp down on thieves.
Anyone with information about last week's theft is asked to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log 166 03/10/13.
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