A missing piece from a historic Leeds statue has been found abandoned in a council shed.
‘Industry’ forms part of the Victoria Memorial on Woodhouse Moor but disappeared without a trace 25 years ago.
Now, a community campaigner who is fighting for the memorial to be restored has discovered the lost statue – in a shed at a council-run museum.
The figure is not locked away and could be at risk from theft, which is why the YEP is not printing its exact location.
Bill McKinnon, chair of the Friends of Woodhouse Moor, is leading the campaign to get the Victoria memorial restored and found and photographed ‘Industry’ in its new home.
As reported in the YEP, the Victoria Memorial – which was unveiled in 1905 – is one of 92 historic landmarks featured on an “at risk” list of sites published by the council in June.
Bill said: “The memorial comprises a group of three bronze statues mounted on a 30-foot plinth of Portland stone.
“On top of the plinth is a statue of the Queen, and mounted to either side of the plinth and lower down from the Queen were statues representing ‘Peace’ and ‘Industry’.
“Sadly ‘Industry’ was removed to a council shed 25 years ago and never returned.
“The Victoria Memorial is a reminder of a time when Leeds changed from being a small town to a modern industrial city with public parks, hospitals and free education.
“If we value this connection to the city’s momentous past, we need to restore the memorial, ensure that it is well-maintained, and employ wardens to protect it from vandalism.”
The memorial, which was sculpted by George Frampton, was originally located in Leeds city centre, but moved to Woodhouse Moor in 1937.
The monument has been a target for metal thieves and vandals in recent years.
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We’ve been looking at options to restore the Victoria Memorial and protect it for future generations.
“This may involve applying for grant aid from other organisations so it may take a little time.”