Iconic Oxford pig statue ‘Francis Bacon’ recovered after most recent theft

Published 11:53 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Oxford Police Department confirmed Sunday evening that “Francis Bacon,” a life-like pig statue stolen Thursday night, has been safely returned.

The statue, owned by Ryan Byers, is a well-known community fixture in Oxford since its debut in 2021. Located on Price Street, Francis Bacon has become a popular attraction for both tourists and locals, who frequently stop for selfies.

According to a Facebook post shared by the Oxford Police Department, the statue went missing Thursday night. This was the second theft involving Francis; he was also stolen in November 2021 but was returned the following December. At that time, his owners received a message on Instagram with information leading to his hidden location in the woods.

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A $500 reward had previously been offered for the statue’s safe return after the November 2021 theft. Surveillance footage on the statue’s Instagram account captured two males taking Francis, but the video was too grainy to identify the individuals.

Before becoming an Oxford community icon, Francis Bacon had a career as a movie prop and is named after the artist Francis Bacon. He even has his own Instagram account, attracting widespread local and tourist attention.

The Oxford Police Department successfully facilitated the statue’s recent recovery, although no details on the identity of the thieves have been released.