The missing Manánnan Mac Lír statue that was stolen by apparent religious extremists last month could be replaced by a new sculpture three times as large.
Limavady Borough Council are considering a replacement that would be made of mild steel and would stand two-to-three times as tall as the original.
The original Manannán Mac Lír statue, commissioned two years ago as part of a ‘myths and legends’ project by the local council, went missing near the end of January.
It was removed from its base in an overnight operation that sculptor Darren Sutton said would likely have taken hours and required specialist equipment. The thieves left a wooden cross bearing the words ‘you shall have no other gods before me’ and the PSNI say they are investigating the religious aspect to the crime.
Now, following global attention, Limavady Borough Council are to consider a replacement that would be two to three times the size of the original.
Valerie Richmond, Development Services Officer at the council, said in a report presented for the Borough’s elected representatives: “ In all probability, despite extensive searches it is unlikely that the sculpture will be returned. Council’s views are sought on how they would wish to progress.
“The cost of the original piece which was installed approximately two years ago was in the region of £10,000. The sculptor estimates that the cost to replace the figure would be approximately £10,000 and the cost to replace the entire sculpture (including the boat) would be £15,000.
“Should Council wish to consider a larger sculpture it would cost approximately £30,000 to create one two-three times the original size which would be made of mild steel.”
The options will be discussed at Limavady Borough Council on Tuesday night (February 10, 2015).