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Sculptor is accused of stealing cave bones

AN award-winning British artist has been questioned by Spanish police after he was accused of using stolen bones in one of his sculptures.

Jamie Owen has had his work confiscated from an exhibition in Alicante after an archaeologist said he stole Moorish bones from a cave. Mr Owen is furious that his carefully constructed £2,500 artwork has been dismantled. He has been questioned by police on suspicion of robbery and must remain in the country.

Mr Owen, 34, says the bones were collected from the Thames under Battersea Bridge, London, more than six years ago. So far, Spanish forensic scientists have told him that they belong to cats, dogs, cows and sheep, believed to be neolithic, but no human remains have been found.

The sculpture was confiscated after the Spanish archaeologist used the law of "denouncing" to accuse Mr Owen of robbery. He alleged that the bones were those of Moorish conquerors.

Mr Owen said: "I might be forced to pay a fine of £40,000 if, for some bizarre reason, they prove they are from Spain. I have been interviewed by the chief of police, who thought it was a joke, and I now have to get a lawyer."

The delicate bone structure has been taken to the Museum of Alicante for examination. Spanish police said the results of the scientific tests should be known within a month.

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