Derbyshire artist’s anger after sick thieves try to steal ceramic poppies in London

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red exhibition.
The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red exhibition.
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Ceramic poppies designed by a Chesterfield artist which have been on display in London have been targeted by thieves.

The 888,246 poppies were removed from the Tower of London and placed into lorries – but heartless offenders have been trying to break into the vehicles.

The spectacular exhibition, called Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red, was created by artist Paul Cummins to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Volunteers started to dismantle the display after Armistice Day.

The last poppy was removed on Friday.

The poppies are now being prepared to be posted to members of the public who purchased them for £25 each, with proceeds shared between six service charities, including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

Speaking about the attempted thefts, Mr Cummins said: “I am not happy. It is disrespectful to the people who bought them and made them and to the people they represent.”

A spokesman for the Tower of London said: “An attempt was made to break into empty vehicles at a rest stop on their way to London. A number of other vehicles at the rest stop were targeted in the same way.”

The installation has been visited by royalty, including the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and photographed from the Mir space station.