Priceless bust of Lever stolen from memorial; Bronze sculpture may be melted down for scrap.Byline: LIAM MURPHY Mur·phy , William Parry 1892-1987.
American physician. He shared a 1934 Nobel Prize for discovering that a diet of liver relieves anemia.
APRICELESS bust, commissioned in memory of the Second Viscount Leverhulme The title Viscount Leverhulme, of the Western Isles in the Counties of Inverness and Ross & Cromarty, was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1922 for William Lever, 1st Baron Leverhulme. , has been stolen from a family plot in the grounds of a Wirral church.
The portrait bronze bust, created by renowned artist Sir Charles Wheeler The name Charles Wheeler can refer to:
William Hulme (c. 1631 – 1691) was a 17th century lawyer and landowner from Lancashire, and the founder of Hulme's Charity. Life
Relatively little is known about Hulme's life. Lever, son of the founder of the Port Sunlight Port Sunlight is a village on the Wirral (in the North West of England). It was purpose built by Lord Leverhulme/William Hesketh Lever starting in 1888 for the employees of Lever Brothers soap factory (now part of Unilever). village, was discovered missing on Wednesday.
Police say their investigation into the theft of the life-size sculpture is "at an early stage" but have appealed to witnesses or anyone who may have been offered the bust to contact them.
The bust was part of a family plot in the grounds of Christ Church and, although hollow, is a life-size bronze representation of the former Viscount.
Christ Church secretary Chris Maple said it was unlikely to have been stolen to sell as it is, and it is feared it might have been taken by someone who is planning to melt it down and sell the metal as scrap.
He said: "It's difficult to say how valuable it is because there is only one of them, but created by a well-known artist of the time.
"It was taken from the Lever family tomb, where it had been since the 1950s.
"After the Second Viscount died, the family commissioned the artist Sir Charles Wheeler, one of the most famous sculptors of the time, to create the bronze bust."
Artist Sir Charles Wheeler was the first sculptor to be elected President of the Royal Academy, a position he held from 1956 to 1966.
Other works by him include a fountain sculpture in front of the Lady Lever Art Gallery Sunlight Soap magnate, William Hesketh Lever, the first Lord Leverhulme, founded the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1922 and dedicated it to the memory of his wife.
Set in the attractive garden village of Port Sunlight, Merseyside, England, also created by Lord Lever, the gallery , in Port Sunlight, similar to his work for the Trafalgar Square memorial. He is also known for creating the five pairs of 20 ft bronze doors for the Bank of England Bank of England, central bank and note-issuing institution of Great Britain. Popularly known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, its main office stands on the street of that name in London. and other sculptural work for the bank in the City of London.
Mr Maple said the Lever bust was probably heavy, despite being hollow, and would be too recognisable to be sold as an artwork.
He said: "Whoever took it wouldn't be able to sell it, because there is only one of them and it's too well known.
"We suspect maybe it was stolen for the melt-down value of the bronze."
However, he said it had been stolen once before, around 15 years ago, but following a public outcry had been discovered abandoned half a mile from the church in undergrowth.
Mr Maple said: "We are hoping it will again be found. The spikes are still there where the bust was positioned, in the hope that it will be returned."
Gavin Hunter, a local historian, had discovered the background to the missing bust and the fact that it had been commissioned by the Lever family.
Mr Hunter, a former employee of Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight, said few further details were known about it.
He is currently writing a biography of the Second Viscount and found the memo about the commission last year.
William Hulme Lever, first son of businessman William Hesketh Lever, who founded Lever Brothers, was born in 1888 - the same year the family moved to Thornton Manor in Wirral and died in 1949. Also in 1888, Lever bought the land at Bebington, to the south of Birkenhead, on the Wirral, to build Port Sunlight, a village for a new factory, and created the famous village for the people who would be working there.
The Second Viscount Leverhulme, William Hulme Lever, took his title on the death of his father in 1925, who was also buried at Christ Church, in Port Sunlight, which was built in 1904. [bar] ANYONE who has seen the sculpture since Monday night - or been offered it for sale - is asked to call Merseyside Police Bromborough Station, on 0151 777 2530.
The missing bust The family vault of Lord Leverhulme, at Christ Church, with the vacant plinth, right, where his bronze bust stood before the theft -3