A thief who made off with a wooden head from a Kent church has been warned his loot is cursed. The unknown crook took the 300-year-old carved man's head from St Peter and St Paul's Church, Newchurch.
But the churchwarden now says that another thief who stole the same item more than 40 years ago, returned it with a note saying it had brought him bad luck. Tony Day said: "I'd like to say to the person who has taken the head now, should you find your luck disappearing we'd happily accept it back to its rightful home."
The caricature, with a plum in its mouth, had been taken from a table while on public display on October 15, at the end of the church's art exhibition. In 1970, the head and the 18 inches of beam it was embedded in were cut off by a thief while the church was being re-roofed. Fifteen years later it was returned, placed on the doorstep of one of the then churchwardens.
A note was pinned on it saying: "My sincere apologies. I stole this head and have had nothing but bad luck ever since. I hope that as I have now returned it, my luck will return." That thief was never identified, nor was it ever discovered what bad luck the jinxed carving gave him. The head had originally been made by carpentry apprentices in the early 18th century during renovation work as a depiction of their boss.