Two teenagers who took the head of a vandalised protected statue home were granted bail on Sunday, after pleading not guilty to retaining protected property.

The statue is of St Anthony of Padua and is situated on the parvis of a chapel within the Marsascala Family Park. It is protected under the Cultural Heritage Act.

The police said on Saturday that three teenagers were arrested on Friday and Saturday.

The statue was found headless on October 6. The police found the head in the teenagers’ home.

Prosecuting inspector Saviour Baldacchino told the court CCTV footage confirmed that the accused – Michael Olaf Zanstra, 18, and Hugo Sacha Christian Boutroue, 19, who live in the same flat in Marsascala - had not severed the statue’s head themselves but had simply taken it home after finding it already detached.

Both were charged with receiving or retaining the protected property. Boutroue was also charged with scribbling all over it. 

The accused were granted bail against a deposit of €2,000 each and a €4,000 guarantee. They also have to adhere to a number of conditions including to sign the bail book every three weeks.

Stefano Filletti and Kathleen Grima appeared for Zandstra. Fransina Abela appeared legal aid for Boutroue.  

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