Baby Jesus snatched from city's cherished Nativity scene in Preston's Flag Market

A statue of baby Jesus has been stolen from Preston's historic Nativity scene in Flag Market.

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:01 pm

The wooden nativity cabinet graces Flag Market every year, with the original Italian-crafted statues still in use after more than 50 years.

But thieves reportedly smashed their way into the wooden Nativity scene sometime this morning (Tuesday, December 21), snatching baby Jesus from his crib.

The Nativity scene was also vandalised, with a number of figures knocked over in the sacrilegious smash and grab.

After news of the theft spread, Preston City Council urged the perpetrator to return the statue to the Town Hall before Christmas day.

"Sadly, Preston's well-loved nativity scene has been vandalised and baby Jesus is missing," a spokesman for the council said.

"This is a very popular scene with residents and visitors. Please bring him to the Town Hall before Christmas so he can be returned to the display.

"The council's maintenance team have since repaired the crib, so visitors to Preston can still visit this popular attraction in the meantime."

The wooden nativity cabinet graces Flag Market every year, with the original Italian-crafted statues still in use, but it has been vandalised sometime this morning (Tuesday, December 21)

The theft sparked outrage, with many readers taking to social media to voice their disgust.

One person wrote: "Why would someone do that?

"So disrespectful. Hopefully whoever did this grows a conscience and returns it."

Another said: "This is sad news. What on earth possesses someone to do this.

The Nativity scene has been vandalised, with a number of religious figures knocked over in the sacrilegious smash and grab

"Nothing is sacred these days. We can only live in hope that it's found."

The nativity scene outside the Harris Museum has become a well-loved Christmas tradition since it was first unveiled more than half a century ago.

Sadly, it is not the first time the cherished Nativity scene has been targeted by lowlifes.

The nativity scene outside the Harris Museum has become a well-loved Christmas tradition since it was first unveiled more than 50 years ago, but it has been targeted by vandals and thieves in 2018 and again this year (2021)

Lancashire Police have been approached for comment.

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The wooden nativity graces Flag Market every year, with the original Italian-crafted statues still in use after more than 50 years
How the undisturbed Nativity scene should look at Christmas
How the undisturbed Nativity scene looked before thieves smashed their way inside and stole a statue of baby Jesus from his crib