Friday, 2 November 2007

Imperial Theft and Travel

I discovered this marble fountain while searching for something blue for yesterdays post. I had no idea it existed, and have never heard about it before. It sits, tucked away from the pavement, behind some railings, on the Broadwalk (as mentioned yesterday). It is the Imperial Fountain, also known as the Napoleon Fountain, and it was stolen from Italy by the French in 1800. It was then taken by the English while it was on its way to France. The fountain was then sold to Thomas Henney, a Solicitor from Cheltenham. In 1826 Henney installed it in Imperial spa, now the site of The Queens Hotel. In 1834 the water feature was on the move again, this time up the road to Montpellier Gardens. It stayed in its new home until 1902 when it was restored and moved, again, to the Town Hall. Not done with all the moving about, it then travelled to the Public Library in 1926. It is now owned by the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, and is on loan to the Council as part of their public art scheme. So, at the moment, the Imperial Fountain is back where it started out in 1826. I hope the Italians don't come looking for it!


Web-OJ said...

It's worth stealing!

Unknown said...

Never seen it Marley. Well spotted!

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