Cheltenham Playhouse: Appeal for statues to be returned

Interior of Montpellier Baths in Cheltenham in 1932
Image caption The Hebe statue was photographed in the 1930s in the swimming baths’ waiting room

A theatre has appealed for help in tracking down two statues that were last seen about 80 years ago.

The figures stood in the 19th Century Montpellier Baths in Cheltenham, before the building was converted into the Cheltenham Playhouse in 1945.

Bosses said the statues had “gone walkabout”, and appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

They said they would like to reinstate the statues as part of a restoration project.

One of them is a reproduction of a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, the original of which is by Antonio Canova and at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

Theatre manager Paul Scott said a photograph from the 1930s showed it was about 4ft (1.2m) tall, probably made of alabaster or plaster, and was situated in the waiting room for the swimming pool.

Less is known about the other statue.

“All we know is it was an alabaster statue of a diver and was presented to the baths for the reopening ceremony in 1900,” said Mr Scott.

“We have no idea what it looked like.”

Image caption Theatre bosses say they want put the statues back in place at the Playhouse theatre

He added it was not known for certain when the two statues were removed.

“Our suspicion is that when they closed the baths down at the outbreak of World War Two… they probably went into storage, or if not then, when it reopened as the theatre in 1945.”

Mr Scott said up to £4m was needed to revamp the Grade II-listed building, with work likely to take place in four or five years.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The baths were converted into a theatre in 1945

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