Bella statue back where she belongs
BELLA must be Perth’s most expensive bench sitter, having been reinstated at her Bathers Beach haunt after an $85,000 commission to replace her stolen forebear.
The second incarnation of the 150kg bronze statue was returned to her seat at Bathers Beach last Thursday, complete with an entirely new face thanks to Fremantle artist Greg James.
But CCTV cameras have been installed to safeguard the new Bella to ensure she doesn’t meet the same fate as her predecessor, which was nicked last year.
The original was stolen in October and, though the thief was caught and brought to justice, the iconic artwork has never been recovered.
Nelson Rodrigues Jardim (41) was jailed for nine months over the theft last month but the statue has never been found.
The Department purchased the original Bella for $48,000 in 2011 but it was later valued at about $100,000.
This year it recommissioned James to recreate Bella, and has also footed the bill for a security camera overseeing her bench seat.
Above: Bella being installed on her bench at Bathers Beach last week, and left, with her creator Greg James.