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The bronze bust of racing legend Graham Hill, which was stolen from the BRDC Clubhouse in 1999, was returned after almost eight years to the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) on Thursday. Detective Chief Inspector Tricia Kirk, of Northamptonshire Police, presented the recently recovered sculpture to Damon Hill, BRDC president and son of Graham Hill.
The life-size bust of the double Formula 1 world champion, valued at £10,000, was formally identified by the original sculptor, Amy Goodman, following its recovery. The artist joined Damon Hill and Detective Chief Inspector Tricia Kirk for an official presentation and photocall, which took place in the BRDC Clubhouse.
BRDC president Damon Hill with recovered bronze bust of Graham Hill Members of the BRDC have agreed to lend the replacement Graham Hill bust, commissioned following the disappearance of the original, to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
Speaking on behalf of the BRDC Damon Hill said: "It is very special to have the bust back in the BRDC Clubhouse. As a racing driver and champion he [Graham Hill] was a very special and inspirational person, so it is great that the police have been able to track the bust down and bring it back to its rightful place after all this time. They have done a fantastic job.
"Ironically, I didn't even know it had been stolen until we received a call from Amy Goodman, the artist who sculpted the bust, asking if we would like her to produce another one from the original moulding. It was then quite spooky that, before we had time to consider Amy's offer, news came through that the original had been recovered in Bolton."
Detective Chief Inspector Tricia Kirk of Northamptonshire Police said: "We recovered the bronze bust in December following a joint investigation with Greater Manchester Police. We are happy to now be able to put it back where it belongs at the heart of the county and back with the British Racing Drivers' Club."
A 47 year old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen goods and is currently on police bail.
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