Thieves take statue of Nathan Hale

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COVENTRY, Conn. -- As a spy, Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale was hanged by the British. As a statue, he's been cut off at the ankles ... and stolen from his historic family homestead.

Thieves removed the 3-foot bronze sculpture of Hale, leaving behind only his shoes and the statue base, sometime between March 29 and April 4, Antiquarian and Landmarks Society officials said Tuesday.

The statue was the work of eminent New England sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt, whose pieces also adorn the Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Yale, Harvard, the Connecticut state Capitol and myriad other sites.

"What a shame," said Sheryl Hack, executive director of the society, which owns the Hale Homestead and eight other house museums. "Is it a prank? Is it serious? It certainly is disrespectful."

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