Scrap-metal thieves in UK also target statues, history

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The First World War poet Rupert Brooke would have been horrified. His poem, "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester", written in 1912, was a loving homage to his Cambridgeshire home, which he thought epitomised idyllic, rural England.

But now the area eulogised by Brooke for its "peace and Holy quiet" has been hit by a crime wave, with the Old Vicarage itself -- home of disgraced author and Conservative peer Jeffrey Archer -- the scene of the latest outbreak.

Two life-size sculptures, worth several thousand pounds each, were stolen on Tuesday evening from the garden of the Old Vicarage in the latest in a series of metal thefts in the region. Police believe the scrap is being stolen and shipped to the Far East for recasting...

The Old Vicarage was built around 1685, passing into private hands in 1820. From about 1910 onwards, Brooke rented a room and then a larger part of the house. He wrote the poem, "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester", in Berlin in 1912, as a lament for his much-missed English village home. After the poet's death in 1915, the house was bought by his mother.

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