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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Irish wax museum figures 'stolen'
National Wax Museum
National Wax Museum in Dublin (Photo by Alice/Flickr)
Dozens of figures from the Irish Republic's National Wax Museum have been damaged or stolen after a "rave" party at a warehouse, officials say.

Models of famous children's characters, including Teletubbies and Bob the Builder, were among those taken from the museum's collection in Dublin.

There were signs of forced entry at the storeroom after youths attended a rave in a nearby warehouse, officials said.

Police believe the apparent thefts occurred between 3 and 20 June.

'Motive unknown'

National Wax Museum manager Kay Murray told the BBC News website she thought the incident was "vandalism", and did not suspect any other motives.

Our exhibition [collection] was in a storeroom off the main building but all they had to do was break down a door
Kay Murray
National Wax Museum manager

Irish police would not be drawn on possible motives behind the apparent thefts, which saw children's characters including Bob the Builder and all four Teletubbies, as well as film villains Hannibal Lecter and Freddie Krueger, disappear from storage.

Military uniforms were also stripped from figures of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising and revolutionary leader Michael Collins, as well as models of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

"Our exhibition [collection] was in a storeroom off the main building but all they had to do was break down a door," Ms Murray said.

"It was under lock and key but the door was forced open."

The museum closed in July 2005 after the building's owner sold it. It was demolished to make way for a hotel and the waxworks have been in storage since.

Ms Murray says she hopes to announce a new location for the museum in central Dublin in two weeks and reopen next year.

Main attractions included the Children's World of Fairytale and Fantasy, the Chamber of Horrors and models of Irish historical figures such as writers James Joyce and WB Yeats, Robert Emmet and leaders of the 1916 rebellion.

Ms Murray said the museum would reopen despite the missing waxworks, but she hoped the collection would be complete by then.

"All I want is that whoever has our stuff to please return it to us," she said.

Country profile: Ireland
20 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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