LONDON (AP) -- Thieves have stolen a large bronze sculpture by one of Britain's most important modern sculptors.

The sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, called "Two Forms (Divided Circle)," was discovered missing Tuesday morning after being ripped from its plinth from south London's Dulwich Park.

Local government officials said they will ask police and their metal theft unit to investigate the matter immediately.

The theft came after Metropolitan Police on Monday dedicated a unit to tackle those who steal cables and car metal parts for scrap metal — a growing problem as prices for copper, lead and bronze soar.