A BRONZE replica of Nuneaton's iconic Boer War memorial warrior is on the brink of standing guard over the town once more - armed with 21st century "defences".
The original 1 1/2 tonne statue was stolen from its plinth in Coton Road just 48 hours after hundreds of old soldiers marked Remembrance Day in 2006.
It had been a familiar figure in Nuneaton for 101 years and its theft stunned the town - and sparked a pounds 50,000 appeal to finance a replacement.
Now, two years on, work has started on getting a new spot ready for a replica statue - and nothing is being left to chance. It will be rehomed in the sunken garden at the entrance to the town's museum and art gallery in Riversley Park, under the glare of security lights with the added protection of CCTV cameras.
And the borough council has revealed another "defence" mechanism to ensure the replica does not suffer the same fate as its predecessor at the hands of thieves.
The new statue will be coated with Smartwater, a special liquid containing a unique chemical code which will be registered on the police National Security Register.
Workmen moved in yesterday to relocate the original plinth from Coton Road to its new spot outside the museum.
Borough council leader Marcus Jones said: "It is exciting after so many months of fundraising and hard work to see the beginning of the installation works taking place.
"We have only got this far because of the determination and generosity of local people, groups and businesses."
The relocation is being carried out by Nuneatonbased Ian Neale Ltd.
A borough council spokesman said: "The council's park department will then ensure that the park around the statue is ready for when the new memorial is delivered.
"The new location for the statue in front of the museum is covered by monitored CCTV. Other additional security features include the sculpture being protected with a Smartwater kit, thanks to the generosity of Smartwater Technology Ltd."
The hollow bronze replica statue is going through the casting process at Powderhall Bronze Ltd in Scotland.
It is hoped it will be in place in Nuneaton by the end of the month - ready for this year's Remembrance Day parade.