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Wellington Police have this week recovered a stolen historic mahogany statue of Christ, missing for more than 12 years.
Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee of the Wellington CIB says the cherished statue was stolen from the Futuna Chapel in Friend Street, Karori, sometime between 1999 and 2000. On Wednesday, Police recovered it at an unoccupied rural property in Ahititi, Taranaki.
"This historic statue was specifically made for the Futuna Chapel by noted sculptor Jim Allen and holds significant importance to the Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust, the Catholic community and the Wellington community as a whole."
The recovery of the statue, led by Detective Kevin Dillon, has delighted the congregation of Futuna Chapel.
"It's expected that the statue will be returned to the Futuna Chapel next week so it can be re-erected in its rightful place on the walls of the chapel."
Detective Senior Sergeant McKee says Police inquiries are continuing to establish those responsible for the theft of this valuable item, which is approximately 160cm tall and sculptured from laminated mahogany.