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SCULPTURE STOLEN (article first published : 2002-04-19)

A bronze bust of Durban poet Douglas Livingstone, valued at R40,000 and bolted to a cement pedestal in the courtyard amphitheatre at Greyville’s Kwasuka Theatre, was stolen on April 15.

The night was also notable for a massive thunderstorm but despite the raging elements the thieves smashed the pedestal and made off with the sculpture which normally requires two people to lift it.

Durban sculptor Hannah Lurie was commissioned to produce the work to be placed overlooking the Douglas Livingstone Courtyard at Kwasuka. A highly acclaimed and respected poet, Douglas Livingstone was also a close friend of Kwasuka’s artistic director Professor Pieter Scholtz.

In the days after the theft, it was believed that the bust would be cut up and melted down for resale.

However it turned up at the KwaMuhle Museum where a tramp is reported to have presented it, stating that he had bought it for R280 in a township. Recognising its value, the alert staff contacted film-maker David Basckin who has just completed a video commemorating Douglas Livingstone. He in turn contacted Hannah Lurie who is now busy “patching up” the damage to the bust, particularly a long gash across the face where the thieves obviously smashed it as they tried to dislodge it from its pedestal.

It is a celebratory coincidence that the next Poet’s Eye evening of poetry taking place at Kwasuka on April 28 and 29 at 18h00 will feature works by Douglas Livingstone. To book contact the theatre on 031 309-2236.




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