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Sandy Murray reports
"The spear was found a mile from the museum"
 real 28k

Friday, 10 December, 1999, 14:28 GMT
Dr Livingstone's spear, I presume

George Paton spear George Paton keeps a tight hold of the spear


A 150-year-old Zulu spear stolen from the birthplace of the explorer Dr David Livingstone has been returned.

Police, who said they were acting on a tip-off, recovered the priceless spear from the back courts of a street in Blantyre, in Lanarkshire.

The 150-year-old spear was collected by the legendary explorer during his travels in Africa in the last century and was kept in a display in his former home, which has been transformed into the David Livingstone Centre.


Houses The spear was found in back courts
Strathclyde Police said they believed the spear was stolen between between Thursday, 2 December and Sunday, 5 December.

Inspector Richard Bailey said: "I am delighted that the spear has been recovered.

"David Livingstone is an immensely important figure in Blantyre and there was a real sense that the local community had pulled together to recover the spear."

He said officers were still trying to trace the person responsible for the theft.


David Livingstone Dr David Livingstone: Legendary explorer
George Paton from the David Livingstone Trust said: "It's been part of our presentation since 1929 since we opened.

"It's been perfectly safe in its present position for 15 years and whoever took it had maybe a six-feet lift and some strength.

"Somehow, other other people had the strength to make sure we got it back.

The spear was decorated with green, blue and turquoise beads laid in a geometric design and has an animal tail attached at its top end.

It has been kept in the centre for 70 years and was lifted from a wall during museum opening hours
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See also:
08 Dec 99 |  Scotland
'Priceless' spear stolen from museum

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