THE story of a 'missing' bronze bust of the world famous opera singer Jenny Lind, who died in Malvern, could be about to enter another chapter.

Originally paid for by another Swedish singer, Elizabeth Soderstorm, after a 1987 Malvern concert, it was commissioned by Malvern Hills District Council in 1988 from sculptor Leslie Punter, of Horsham, near Martley.

However, the bust remained unclaimed in the artist's studio for several years until a Malvern Link benefactor, Jean Dunlop, contributed £500 toward a three-tonne stone plinth. It was eventually unveiled in Priory Park in 1993, where it remained until 1998, when it was removed for safekeeping during the renovation of Malvern Theatres.

There were plans for it to be reinstated inside the theatres complex alongside a bust of composer Edward Elgar, with plaques recounting Malvern's theatrical history.

Since then, the Lind bust has been mysteriously absent and benefactor Jean Dunlop has spoken of her concern for its whereabouts.

But the bust could now resurface if Malvern Hills District Council agrees funding for its reinstatement, along with the Elgar bust.

Sharon Gray, the council's head of economic development and tourism, confirmed that the Lind bust currently remains safely stored in a council building.

She said: "Discussions are ongoing with the Civic Society and the Elgar Society about both these busts.

"We've been getting prices for reinstating them on plinths inside the theatres and placing acrylic copies on the plinths in the park."

Ms Gray said that she was preparing a report for the meeting of the council's Executive Board next week seeking capital funding of about £4,000 for the work.

Jean Dunlop said that once the Lind bust was back in place, she hoped Elizabeth Soderstrom, who has now retired from the concert platform, could be invited back to unveil it in its new position. She also revealed that Elizabeth Soderstrom pays for the maintenance of Jenny Lind's grave in Malvern cemetery.

"She lives in Stockholm but pays an annual fee for the upkeep of the grave," she said. "I honestly think she should be involved before she's too old to travel."