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Ewe what! Villagers baffled as rustlers steal plastic sheep

PUBLISHED: 10:09 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 11 July 2019

Life-like sheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh a familiar sight on the green at New Buckenham has gone missing. Picture: Matthew Dunstan

Life-like sheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh a familiar sight on the green at New Buckenham has gone missing. Picture: Matthew Dunstan

Matthew Dunstan

A life-like sheep sculpture that has become a popular character at the heart of a Norfolk village has become the victim of cheeky rustlers.

Sheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh has become a popular attraction in New Buckenham with local families dressing her up. Picture: Matthew DunstanSheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh has become a popular attraction in New Buckenham with local families dressing her up. Picture: Matthew Dunstan

The remarkably realistic looking sheep, named Audrey Van Gogh because she is missing an ear, has stood on the village green in New Buckenham for the last three years. During that time she has become a popular attraction with local children and a source of amusement for customers at the nearby pub.

But now the sculpture has gone missing with her owner Kim Cutmore fearing she has been targeted by joking rustlers who may have carried her off as a prank.

Audrey had only just returned after undergoing repairs at a local garage for a wonky leg when it was discovered that she had vanished on Monday.

Kim Cutmore thinks her sheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh may have been taken by rustlers. Picture: Matthew DunstanKim Cutmore thinks her sheep sculpture Audrey Van Gogh may have been taken by rustlers. Picture: Matthew Dunstan

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"She had been away for a while because she is about 12 years old and had been at Mill House Garage to have leg repaired," said Ms Cutmore.

"People had been saying where is the sheep we haven't seen her for ages? They wanted to know where she had been and whether she was alright. But then she had only been back on the green for a few days and she has been rustled."

The disappearance has baffled villagers with a search including posters failing to find her. "I went over to the water meadows where there are a lot of proper sheep and I stood for some time to see if they were all moving because I thought it would be really funny is someone had left her there.

"She may have been taken as a prank. I am half expecting to receive a postcard from her in the post."

Ms Cutmore, 62, who originally bought the sheep for £130 from a shop at Sandgate in Kent before moving to Norfolk, added: "She is very realistic. She is a life size grazing merino sheep. She has caused a lot of amusement over the years. The children love her here in the village and because she can be seen from the pub people come over to take pictures of themselves with her.

"She is quite a celebrity in the village. People have previously put pairs of wellies and sunglasses on her, all sorts of silly things."

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